Monday, April 13, 2009

L.A. Dodger Hits for the Cycle

The Los Angeles Dodgers celebrated their season home opener in style today, as Orlando Hudson became the first Dodger in 39 years to hit for the cycle.

There are all sorts of fascinating stats involved in Hudson's feat. He's only the second Los Angeles Dodger to hit a single, double, triple, and home run in a game -- Wes Parker was the first, in 1970 -- and Hudson's the first Dodger to do it in a 9-inning game since Gil Hodges in 1949. (Parker's cycle came in a 10-inning game.) Hudson was the first Dodger ever to hit for the cycle in Dodger Stadium.

Sources conflict on whether Hudson was the eighth or ninth player in Dodger history to hit for the cycle.

The only player of any team to ever hit for the cycle in Dodger Stadium prior to today was Jim Fregosi of the California Angels in 1964, when the stadium served as the Angels' home field. (Now that I think of it, I have Fregosi's autograph among my small collection of baseball autographs...he managed the Angels in the late '70s.)

I love baseball and its history, and the fact that every single time a game starts, there's the possibility of the unexpected or the historic.

Video of Hudson's hits is at the Dodgers site here.

An L.A. Times photo gallery, including photos of the opening ceremonies, is here.

The game was attended by the largest crowd in Dodger Stadium history, with the total number given as 57,099.

Vin Scully, beginning his 60th season with the Dodgers -- you read that correctly -- threw out today's first pitch.


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