• Kurtis Tatkenhorst

June 6- Only 2nd game in MLB history where a Triple Play and Cycle happen in the Same Game

Updated: Jun 18, 2020

1996- On this date in Sports History, a Major League Baseball game between the Chicago White Sox and the Boston Red Sox had a cycle and a triple play both occur in the same game. Many baseball fans will never see a triple play or a player hit for a cycle in a game that they are in attendance at, but the fans at this game got to see both. It is only one of two games in Major League Baseball history that had both of these rare events happen in the same game. One of these was on this day in 1996 when the Boston Red Sox played the Chicago White Sox at Fenway Park. The Red Sox’s John Valentin hit a single, double, triple, and a home run to complete the cycle. In the first inning, the Chicago White Sox used a ground ball to get a runner out on third, second, and first base to complete a triple play. The Red Sox would end up winning the game 7-4.

John Valentin

The only other time in MLB history when a game contained both a cycle and a triple play was on July 1, 1931 when the Philadelphia Phillies played the Chicago Cubs. Chuck Klein of the Phillies hit for the cycle and the Phillies turned a triple play. There have been 10 other days in baseball history when a cycle and a triple play happened on the same day, but they were all in different games.

Baseball has a couple of rare events that statistically hardly ever happen because they are difficult to achieve. Two of these rare events are hitting for a cycle and making a triple play. Dating back to 1876, there have only been 330 cycles and 720 triple plays according to the Baseball Almanac. The MLB currently has 30 teams that each play 162 games in the regular season. This means that a single season has 2,430 baseball games in the regular season. The most cycles to ever be hit in a season is 8 which happened in 1933 and 2009. Although in 2014, there was only one cycle the whole year. Triple plays are a little more common as there have been almost twice as many in history. An ESPN article in 2010 listed the probabilities for a triple play to happen in a game at 0.31% and the probability a cycle happening is 0.14% This means that the probability of a cycle and a triple play happening in a game is 0.0004% or 1 out of every 228,150 games. The fans at Fenway Park on this day in 1996 got to witness some history by seeing both of these rare events happen in the same game.


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Sources:

“Baseball Feats.” Baseball Almanac, Baseball Almanac,

Chuck, Bill. “What Are the Odds?” BillyBall, 24 June 2010,



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