Padres history: The 11 players to finish a single shy of the cycle

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

[Editor's note: Updated May 28, 2014 to reflect Tommy Medica joining the club. -TTG]

Some time ago, I did a B-R Play Index search to find how many Padres players have finished a game just a single short of the cycle and bookmarked it, meaning to get around to making some sort of post about it. As I do with most things, I promptly forgot about it and let it marinate for a few months until a couple weeks ago when somebody mentioned the phenomena on Twitter and I thanked them for inadvertently reminding me. I think you know what happened next: Yes, I once again forgot about it nearly immediately.

Apparently Seth Smith really wanted me to write about the subject because last night he joined the club and forced my hand. So, without further rambling about how my brain is less a hard drive than it is a colander, here's the list of the ten times it has occurred, followed by some notes.

Dave Roberts 08/23/1973 4
Broderick Perkins 05/06/1981 5
Kevin McReynolds 07/08/1985 5
Tony The Gwynn 06/10/1993 4
Steve Finley 06/04/1997 5
Brian Giles 08/18/2004 3
Mike Cameron 06/13/2006 4
Kevin Kouzmanoff 07/13/2007 4
Adrian Gonzalez 04/22/2008 4
Seth Smith 05/11/2014 4
Tommy Medica 05/28/2014 5
  • Smith's big game was just the third of these to include a walk. Giles drew two walks (one intentional) in his game, and Cameron had one. Giles is also the only one who did all his damage in just three at-bats.
  • Tony Gwynn got cheated out of his chance at a cycle by manager Jim Riggleman, who didn't realize what was going on and replaced him in the field with Phil Clark in the top of the seventh inning of a game the Padres were leading 11-2.
  • All 11 players had exactly three hits, so there were no instances of "He should have stopped at first on his second double!"
  • The triple in Gonzalez's game was the only one he hit that season, contrasted with the nine Cameron had the year of his.
  • I looked at the box score of Gonzalez's near-cycle, hoping his big (well, older) brother Edgar hit a single because, come on, that would be kind of cool. Alas, Edgar wasn't in the lineup that day; a series of clicks led me to discover he didn't join the team and make his MLB debut until about three weeks later. Since the time I typed the period on that last sentence, I got way too interested in the concept of a brother-cycle and followed it down a rabbit-hole. I ended up looking at the box scores from all four games one of them hit a triple while they were teammates and I can now report back to you that I came up empty. After I wrap this post up, I'm going to look at game logs for other pairs of brothers and I'll hammer out some words if I find anything.
  • Smith was the first Padres left fielder to hit a near-cycle. He joins three center fielders, two right fielders, two third basemen, and two first basemen. Just 17 days later, Medica became the second left fielder, although he did move to first base later in the game.
  • Perkins had a group-high five RBI. Smith's four put him in a tie for second with McReynolds, Gwynn, and Finley. Kouz is the only one of the bunch with one lonely RBI.
  • Cameron reached first on an error in the first at-bat of his game. There was no controversy, however, as Rafael Furcal would have had him with anything even closely resembling a decent throw. On a fun side note, Cameron came around to score on Furclol's second error of the inning. Any side note is fun when it involves the Dodgers losing 9-to-1.
  • Smith and Medica are the first pair of players to do it in the same season.
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