Ian Kinsler became the fourth Texas Ranger to hit for the cycle, and the first only right-handed Ranger to hit for the cycle in team history.
Oddibe McDowell, left-handed batter, was the first Ranger to accomplish the feat on July 23, 1985. The next two came from switch-hitters Mark Teixeira (Aug. 17, 2004) and Gary Matthews Jr. (Sept. 13, 2006).
Kinsler also became the second Ranger to record six hits and the first to do so while accomplishing the cycle. Alfonso Soriano notched six hits on May 8, 2004 for the Rangers, but Soriano did that in a 10-inning game.
Kinsler also became the third Major Leaguer to have six hits and hit for the cycle in the same game in the modern era of Major League Baseball. Rondell White of the Montreal Expos in 1995 and Bobby Veach of the Detroit Tigers in 1920 were the others, but again they both did so in extra inning games.
The last time a batter notched six hits and hit for the cycle in a nine inning game; well the data is inconclusive.
ESPN is reporting that Sam Thompson of the Phillies did so on Aug. 17, 1894, while the Elias Sports Bureau is reporting that it was four years prior when William Farmer Weaver for the Louisville Colonels accomplished this on August 12th, 1890.
Whichever proves to be true, it has not happened in over 115 years and while both Thompson and Weaver did so in nine-inning games, Kinsler was at home and did this in only eight innings.
Kinsler’s first at-bat led off the first inning, with the Rangers already down 2-0, he took Mark Hendrickson’s first pitch and doubled it off the left field wall. He later scored on a Josh Hamilton single up the middle.
In the third inning with the Rangers down 3-1, Kinsler’s second at-bat cut that deficit in half with his solo home run to left-center field, his third of the season.
In the fourth inning the Rangers would take their 4-3 lead and add another eight runs, Kinsler singled twice in the inning, also scoring a run and knocking in another.
With only the triple remaining, and without a doubt the hardest part of the cycle, Kinsler came to bat in the sixth with one out and Elvis Andrus on first.
With the count full, Kinsler took a Brandon Bass fastball to deep right-center field and into the right-center field corner by the Ranger’s bullpen. Bursting out of the batter’s box he was not going to be denied his chance at breaking history and Kinsler slid into third way ahead of the throw.
The best highlight of this play was watching him round the bases on his way to third. With Apr. 15 being the anniversary of Jackie Robinson’s Major League debut all players wore the No. 42 jersey in honor of him.
So watching Kinsler going for the triple, going for the cycle, he looked like Robinson rounding the bases as Jackie did in the late 40s and early 50s.
Kinsler wouldn’t be done with that triple, and in the eighth inning he smacked his second double of the game in his final at-bat of the evening.
Kinsler’s final stats, 6-for-6, 2 singles, 2 doubles, a triple, a home run, five runs scored, 4 RBI, and one stolen base.
Many players, coaches, experts, fans, and Hall of Famers have talked and compared the great Jackie Robinson to second basemen playing the game today. Players like reigning AL MVP Dustin Pedroia, Phillies power-hitting Chase Utley, White Sox youngster Alexei Ramirez, and Brandon Phillips of the Cincinnati Reds.
To everyone arguing and comparing those great players to immortal Jackie Robinson, let the performance of Ian Kinsler on Jackie Robinson’s 62nd anniversary speak louder than any words.