Orlando Hudson raced around second base. As he got close to third, he slid head first into the base, creating a big cloud of dust. Hudson was safe with a triple! He stood up, brushed the dirt off of his Los Angeles Dodgers jersey and flashed a broad smile. The fans at Dodger Stadium cheered him on.
Hudson's triple on Monday was special because it meant that he hit for the cycle. Hitting for the cycle means that a player gets a single, double, triple and home run all in the same game. Hudson, who plays second base for the Dodgers, had a single in the first inning, a home run in the third, a double in the fourth and the big triple in the sixth. The Dodgers won the game, beating the San Francisco Giants 11-1.
Hitting for the cycle is a very rare accomplishment. In fact, nobody on the Dodgers had hit for the cycle since 1970! Each year, only about four or five players in all of baseball hit for the cycle.
There are many reasons why the cycle is so rare. First of all, it requires a player to get at least four hits in a game. It's very hard to get that many hits in a game, no matter what type of hits they are! Also, a player who hits for the cycle has to have a combination of speed and power. A player has to be strong enough to hit a home run and fast enough to get a triple. Very few players are both strong enough and fast enough to hit for the cycle.
Hudson's accomplishment demonstrates how important it is to be an all-around ball player. Baseball players have to do a lot of different things. They have to be able to throw the ball, catch the ball, hit the ball and run around the bases. Even if somebody can hit the ball a long way, it doesn't mean they are automatically going to be a great baseball player. When you're practicing baseball, it's important to improve in every aspect of the game. Good players have to know how to play offense (hitting the ball and running the bases) and defense (fielding and throwing the ball).
Hudson is the first player this season to hit for the cycle. How did he do it? By being an all-around player who can succeed in many areas of the game.
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