Monday, April 13, 2009
Orlando Hudson: proving once and for all "what goes around comes around!"
After Andre Ethier came so close to one last season for the Dodgers, the LA Dodgers finally... FINALLY have a new player to hit for the Cycle.
In 39 years of Dodger Baseball, no Dodger had been able to hit for the Cycle since Wes Parker's cycle back on May 7, 1970 at the Mets' Shea Stadium. The record withstood several expansions, two huge MLB player strikes, realignment, a steroids scandal, and the 80s. It even survived Disco! Even Shea Stadium itself fell before Wes Parker's long standing "record."
The nearly 40 years between Dodger players to hit for the cycle may be the longest such drought in MLB history. The only team to eclipse such a drought is the San Diego Padres, who never had a player hit for the cycle in its history.
Outside of that, the Dodgers stood alone as the only team to have gone over three decades between when a player hit for the cycle and the next player hit for the cycle. To make things even sweeter, Orlando Hudson was the first Dodger to hit for the cycle at Dodger Stadium.
And how sweet it was! It started with a squib single that was dribbled a total of 50 feet. Hudson legged it out on a close play. Next, a home run that was hit, admittedly, just a few rows past the meager 3 foot wall near the Left Field fould pole. After that, it was a double that split the gap and finally, Hudson went the other way and stroked a triple into the corner. The way the ball was hit, it was roughly 7-10 feet high. There was a split second when it looked like another fly ball, but instead it dropped at just the right spot.
To me, waiting for this cycle was even more arduous than waiting for a no hitter. Oddly enough, both the Padres and Mets share the distinction of having never had a pitcher throw a no-hitter. Anyway, I was fortunate to be at the right place at the right time to witness Dodger history. At last, a cycle for the Modern Era, and who better than the O-Dog, a man who was signed just this off season to chip in. If he was chipping in, he surely was using an Axe! Goodness!