Photo credit: Kelly O’Connor

It’s been a while since the Red Sox last had a player hit for the cycle.

A long while.

Before Brock Holt accomplished the feat during yesterday’s 9-4 win over the Atlanta Braves, John Valentin’s 1996 cycle was the last in Boston history. For the last 18 years, the cycle had been elusive to Red Sox batters, but not to the rest of the MLB. Since ’96, the MLB has seen over 60 cycles, including 20 over the last 5 seasons.

Some of the names on the list don’t come as a shock. Mike Trout, or, “the best player in the game”, grabbed a cycle in May of 2013. Rockies star Carlos Gonzalez collected the accomplishment during the 2010 season. And Adrian Beltre grabbed a cycle in 2008 and 2012 respectively.

Other names on the list, however, jump out at you and make you scratch your head. But then again, who could forget Bengie Molina lumbering around the bases for a triple during his cycle against Boston in 2010? And how about journeyman Kelly Johnson’s cycle during his strangely terrific 2010 campaign? Fizzled out infielder Arron Hill collected the cycle twice in the course of 10 days for the D’backs in June of 2012.

The list of players that have collected the cycle over the course of MLB history is truly a grab bag of great players and mediocre ones. Such a random assortment of talent suggests that in order to hit for the cycle it really has to be your night. A four hit performance are an accomplishment in and of itself, but to run the box score is equal parts skill and luck.

  • Tweet of the day: How you would mark the cycle in the “Brox score”