On this date in Texas Rangers history, Ian Kinsler had a cycle for the ages at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.
The game was on April 15, 2009, against the Baltimore Orioles, and it just happened to be Jackie Robinson Day around Major League Baseball. Everyone wore Robinson’s No. 42 on the back of their jersey, and while doing so, Kinsler accomplished not just hitting for the cycle, but something rare in MLB history — a six-hit cycle.
First, the cycle. Kinsler doubled in the first inning, homered in the third inning, singled twice in the fourth inning off two different pitchers, and then finally got the elusive triple in the sixth inning. He wrapped up his game with a double in the eighth inning.
Now, the records. Kinsler became the first player in MLB history since 1900 to have a six-hit cycle in a nine-inning game. Six-hit cycles had happened twice before, but both had been in extra-inning games — Detroit’s Bobby Veach (Sept. 17, 1920) and Montreal’s Rondell White (June 11, 1995).
There had been six-hit cycles in nine-inning games before, but they pre-dated the modern era of the game, per the Elias Sports Bureau (since 1900). Philadelphia’s Sam Thompson did it on Aug. 17, 1894. Bill Weaver of Louisville did it on Aug. 12, 1890, in what was then the Major League American Association.
Kinsler established club records for hits in a nine-inning game, tied the AL record, and matched the Rangers record at the time for extra-base hits in a game (four) and runs scored (five). At the time, he was just the fourth Rangers players to hit for the cycle, preceded by Oddibe McDowell (1986), Mark Teixeira (2004), and Gary Matthews Jr. (2006).
Also on this date …
April 15, 1972: The Rangers lost their first game as the Texas Rangers, falling 1-0 to the California Angels in Anaheim. Future Texas Rangers pitching coach Dick Bosman took the loss for the Rangers.
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