List of Nippon Professional Baseball players to hit for the cycle
In baseball, completing the cycle is the accomplishment of hitting a single, a double, a triple, and a home run in the same game. Collecting the hits in that order is known as a "natural cycle", which has occurred five times in Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB). The cycle itself is rare in NPB, occurring 66 times since Fumio Fujimura's first cycle during the single league era in 1948. In terms of frequency, the cycle is roughly as common as a no-hitter (89 occurrences in NPB history); Baseball Digest calls it "one of the rarest feats in baseball". Hitting for the cycle was not recognized in Japanese professional baseball until former Major League Baseball (MLB) player Daryl Spencer made a remark about it after hitting for the cycle with the Hankyu Braves in 1965. Of the 12 current NPB teams, only the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles have never had at least one player hit for the cycle.
The most cycles hit by a player in Nippon Professional Baseball is three, accomplished by Bobby Rose. Playing for the Yokohama BayStars, Rose hit his first cycle on May 2, 1995, the next on April 29, 1997, and his final cycle on June 30, 1999. Other than Rose, only two other NPB players have hit multiple cycles: Fumio Fujimura with the Osaka Tigers and Hiromi Matsunaga with the Hankyu/Orix Braves, both with two. Fujimura is also the only player to have hit a cycle during both the single league era and the current dual league era. The 2003 NPB season saw the most cycles hit in a single season—five. That season also saw the only instance of cycles occurring in two different games on the same day: on July 1, hit by Atsunori Inaba of the Yakult Swallows and Arihito Muramatsu of the Fukuoka Daiei Hawks. The next day, Shinjiro Hiyama became the third player to hit for the cycle in two days. Conversely, the longest period of time between two players hitting for the cycle is currently ongoing. At over 5 years, the drought has lasted from Michihiro Ogasawara's cycle in 2008 until today.
No player has ever hit a cycle in both the Central and Pacific Leagues; however, after Alex Ochoa hit his cycle with the Chunichi Dragons on April 13, 2004, he became the only player to hit a cycle in both MLB and NPB. Ochoa hit his first and only cycle in the MLB eight years prior on July 3, 1996, while playing for the New York Mets. Yakult Swallows catcher Atsuya Furuta is the only player to hit for the cycle in an NPB All-Star game, hitting one in game 2 of the 1992 series. Furuta's cycle is not considered an official NPB cycle as it occurred during an exhibition game. Inaba is the only player to hit for the cycle in a rain-shortened game. After hitting a triple in the first inning and hitting a home run in the fourth, Inaba collected the other two necessary hits in a seven-run fifth inning when the order batted around. Kosuke Fukudome is the only player to have hit a grand slam as the home run of the cycle.
Cycles by player
||Inducted into the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum|
|Denotes a natural cycle|
|Number of cycles recorded to that point (if the player recorded more than one)|
Cycles by franchise
- Inline citations
- Dickson, Paul (1999). The new Dickson baseball dictionary. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. p. 250. ISBN 0-15-600580-8. Retrieved September 10, 2011.
- "Hitting for the Cycle Records". Baseball Almanac. Retrieved September 10, 2011.
- McMurray, John (August 2005). "Brad Wilkerson: A Versatile Performer for the Nationals". Baseball Digest (Lakeside) 64 (6): 32. ISSN 0005-609X. Retrieved September 10, 2011.
- "【７月16日】1965年（昭40） 荒々しい“野球博士”が教えてくれた貴重な記録" [(July 16, 1965) The valuable record that gruff "Dr. Baseball" taught]. Sponichi Annex (in Japanese). Sports Nippon Corporation. Retrieved November 23, 2013.
- "過去のサイクル安打" [Past Cycles Hit]. Sponichi Annex (in Japanese). Sports Nippon Corporation. Retrieved November 22, 2013.
- "Inaba, Muramatsu both hit for the cycle". The Japan Times. July 2, 2003. Retrieved November 22, 2013.
- "Hiyama follows suit; hits for cycle as Tigers slay Dragons". The Japan Times. Kyodo News. July 3, 2003. Retrieved November 23, 2013.
- Graczyk, Wayne (September 2, 2004). "Dragons hoping Ochoa's lucky No. 4 can bring them success". The Japan Times. Retrieved November 23, 2013.
- "1992年度サンヨーオールスターゲーム 試合結果（第2戦）" [1992 Sanyo All-Star Game Results (Game 2)] (in Japanese). Nippon Professional Baseball. Retrieved September 26, 2011.
- "【６月８日】2003年(平15) 記録ラッシュ 井口忠仁は４９年ぶり 福留孝介は４６年ぶり". Sponichi Annex (in Japanese). Sports Nippon Corporation. June 8, 2003. Retrieved November 22, 2013.
- "Lions' 'little' Matsui has big night at plate". The Japan Times. July 8, 2000. Retrieved November 23, 2013.
- "Rodriguez hits for the cycle in BayStars' loss to Hiroshima". The Japan Times. July 28, 2002. Retrieved November 23, 2013.
- "Tigers say 'sayonara' to Carp". The Japan Times. September 23, 2002. Retrieved November 23, 2013.
- "Lions catcher Hosokawa rides the cycle". The Japan Times. Kyodo News. April 5, 2004. Retrieved November 23, 2013.
- "Zuleta hits for cycle to lead Marines past Eagles". The Japan Times. Kyodo News. September 23, 2007. Retrieved November 23, 2013.
- "Yokohama home runs tame struggling Tigers". The Japan Times. Kyodo News. September 4, 2008. Retrieved November 23, 2013.