No. 13 Not Unlucky for Orlando Hudson

Numerologists might tell you that the number 13 in unlucky, but it would be hard to convince the Dodgers new second baseman, Orlando Hudson, who while wearing No. 13 on the 13th of April became only the ninth player in franchise history to get the elusive single-double-triple and home run in one game.

The difficulty of the feat -- nine since he Dodgers began play in the National League in 1890 -- can be determined somewhat when you realize that over the same period of time the club has seen 20 no-hit games and 21 triple plays, events that just don't happen that often.

The Cycle Honor Roll:

Orlando Hudson,  04-13-2009 
Wes Parker,  05-07-1970
Gil Hodges,  06-25-1949
Jackie Robinson,  08-29-1948
Dixie Walker,  09-02-1944
Babe Herman,  07-24-1931
Babe Herman,  05-18-1931
Jimmy Johnston,  05-25-1922
Tom Burns,  08-01-1890
Hudson became the second player to hit for the cycle since the team moved to Los Angeles in 1958. He joins Wes Parker as the only Los Angeles Dodgers to accomplish the feat.

And it took Parker 10 innings to hit for the cycle on May 7, 1970 against the New York Mets. Parker's triple came in in the 10th inning, making Hudson's cycle is the first for a Dodger in a nine-inning game since Gil Hodges on June 25, 1949 at Pittsburgh.

Hudson's cycle was only the second in the 48-year history of Dodger Stadium. The Angels' Jim Fregosi was the only one to turned the trick in Dodger Stadium on July 28, 1964 against the New York Yankees

Hudson's cycle was also the first in the Majors since September 1, 2008, when Arizona's Stephen Drew and Seattle's Adrian Beltré both accomplished the feat. On August 25, 1995, Greg Jeffries did it against Los Angeles pitchers in Philadelphia.

A thumbnail of each of the remarkable performances.

No. 1 Right fielder Tom "Oyster" Burns bagged the first cycle on August 1, 1890, the Dodgers first season in the National League and drew little attention in the papers. The four hits came in the second game of a double header against Pittsburgh and the New York Times raved about the fact that all the runs were earned in the Dodges 7-3 win inn the opener.

The second game, cut to 7 1/2 innings by darkness, saw Brooklyn score 11 times in the first inning and go on to win 20-1. Burns had four of the 13 hits. The paper didn't mention his remarkable hitting, saying "The Pittsburghs played like a lot of amateurs, and some of them found it impossible when a ball was rolled to them to stop it."

No. 2 The second cycle came some 23 years later, May 25, 1922, when Brooklyn second baseman Jimmy Johnston got the perfect combination of hits. His Home run, along with another homer by Zach Wheat in the ninth topped the Phillies 8-7. He had doubled in the first, singled inn the fourth,and tripled in the sixth. It was still a non-issue with the newsmen. The Brooklyn Eagle expounding mostly on the fact that outfielder Bert Griffith (grandfather of the Giants Matt  Williams) lined a ball of the head of Phillies pitcher Bill Hubbell. The pitcher was taken to the hospital and attending physicians said he had a concussion and that it was probably fatal. He recovered and pitched for Brooklyn in 1925.

No. 3 Right fielder Babe Herman, perhaps the best hitter to ever wear the Dodges uniform, hit for the cycle May 18, 1931. He got a break when his popup in the first was dropped by catcher Clyde Sukeforth. Given a second chance, Herman singled. The mention of Herman hitting for the cycle came in the fifth paragraph when Roscoe McGowan of the New York Times noted, "Herman, with a homer, a triple, a double and a single in five times up, drove in five runs and crossed the plate four times." The Dodgers had little trouble with Cincinnati, winning 14-4.

No. 4 Herman became the only Dodger to accomplish the feat twice when just over two months later, July 24, he pounded Pittsburgh pitching for four hits but only drove in a single run. Brooklyn had 21 hits during the wild afternoon and left 13 of them on base in an 8-7 loss. Herman would hit for the cycle for the Chicago Cubs in 1933 and also had a fourth cycle in an exhibition game, but of course that did not count.

No. 5 Right fielder Dixie Walker's cycle helped the Dodgers top the Giants 8-4 on September 2, 1944. Walker singled in the first, homered in the third and the ball went through the wire screen on top the right field fence and into Bedford Avenue. It was war time and no wire could be obtained to patch it. He tripled in the fourth that hit the screen this time and his double banged off the scoreboard in the sixth for a double. He drove in four runs. Walker led the National League in 1944 with a .357 average.

No. 6 Second baseman Jackie Robinson sparked a 12-7 win over the Cardinals in St. Louis on August 29, 1948. He smashed a homer in the first inning and followed that with a triple, a double and a single. He drove in three runs, scored three times and stole third base.

No. 7 First baseman Gil Hodges battered Pirate pitching on June 25, 1949 for five hits, duplicating the home run as Brooklyn thumped Pittsburgh 17-10 using a nine-run third inning. He drove in four runs and scored four times but the papers were filled with the fact that Ralph Branca [who like Orlando Hudson wore #13] had pitched a complete game for the Dodgers, allowing five home runs. It was his first complete game in a month because he had been troubled by a sore elbow that "hampered" his curve but he reported he was free of aches and pains after the game. The win boosted his record to 9-1.

No. 8 First baseman Wes Parker rapped a two-run triple in the 10th inning to complete the cycle and give the Dodgers a 7-4 win over the Mets in Shea stadium on May 7, 1970. The hit was off Jim McAndrew and his son pitched years later in the Dodgers minor leagues. New York led 1-0 into the seventh to tie the game and key a four-run outburst. Joe Durso, writing in the New York Times, mentioned the cycle only in passing. "They [Los Angeles] won it on a triple by Wes Parker who also had hit a single, double and home run--which wasn't so strange in itself. But the runs that Parker drove home had reached base on an error and a bunt and seemed to be the work of gremlins." Gremlins or no, Parker finished with three runs batted in and two runs scored.

No. 9 Orlando Hudson on April 13, 2009.

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