Completing the Cycle
It’s tough to hit for the cycle. It’s tougher to hit for a natural cycle (in which the hits come in order from least total bases to most (single, double, triple, and home run)). But with cycles being such a rare feat I’m left to wonder which type of hit is the most difficult to record. *
My father thinks the HR is the most difficult. I think he’s wrong. Very wrong. Dad, you’re wrong. (Hi, Dad!)
The HR is simply a hit. It’s out of the park the second it touches the bat. The batter trots around the bases at his leisure. (I’m not including an inside-the-park homer.) A strong swing makes a home run.
Single, Double, Triple: A strong swing is only half of it. The hitter also needs to run the bases at a Speedy Gonzalez-type pace.
Of the 1B, 2B, and 3B, which is the most difficult?
For a very long time I thought it was a single. Yes, you read that correctly. I thought a player was more likely to hit doubles galore before hitting a single. Think about it. An infield single isn’t too common – a ball put into play in the infield is likely to become an out. Alternatively, a ball hit into the outfield must be a rocketed line drive or misread by a fielder to be a single. I still firmly believe that a single is tough to record, but I don’t think it’s the most difficult, although it may be a close second. RBIs are much more difficult to record with a single as the preceding base runners need to read the ball well and run quickly.
Doubles: Impressive, but common. You’ll likely record an RBI with a double.
Triples: Tough. Rare. You need to hit the ball HARD and FAR. Just over the head of the outfielder, maybe it careens off the wall and rolls into no-mans-land. Unlike a double which I believe can occur on almost any hit, the triple needs to be read as such the second the ball makes contact with the bat and the batter leaves the batter’s box. If you want to make it to 3rd you need to run hard from the get-go. Unlike the other three hits, a triple depends a lot on where the ball ends up rather than solely on how hard it is hit.
I believe a triple is the most difficult to record. Then a single. Then a double. Then a home run.
What do you think is the most difficult type of hit to record?
*For non-baseball fans reading this, it’s like EGOT-ing in order. Or EGOT-ing all together.