Cubs' cycle drought hits 29 years

Today, May 9, is the 29th anniversary of the last cycle by a Cubs hitter: Mark Grace.

On this date in 1993, as today, the Cubs' opponent was the Padres. But the game was in Chicago, not at San Diego.

And it was played on a Sunday afternoon, not a Monday night.



The Padres grabbed a 2-0 lead in the first inning off Jose Guzman and never trailed. Jeff Gardner doubled to start the game, took third on a groundout by Tony Gwynn and scored on a triple by Gary Sheffield. Fred McGriff then singled home Gwynn.

With 2 out in the Cubs' first, Grace doubled off Greg Harris. He reached third on an infield hit by Ryne Sandberg, but Derrick May struck out to end the inning.

Jose Vizcaino and Grace smacked singles to open the third, then Sandberg singled in Vizcaino. Two outs followed, then a walk to Sammy Sosa loaded the bases before Rick Wilkins flied out.



Gwynn's 2-out RBI single increased the Padres' lead to 3-1 in the fifth.

Grace lined out as the first batter in the bottom half.

Dan Plesac relieved Guzman to begin the seventh and gave up a home run to Bob Green, the first batter he faced.

Grace tripled with 2 out in the bottom half and was stranded when Sandberg grounded out.

McGriff greeted Chuck McElroy with a homer in the eighth and the score remained 4-1 going to the last of the ninth.



Wilkins singled, then pinch hitter Rey Sanchez and Dwight Smith made outs.

Vizcaino singled, bringing up Grace. He took a ball, then slammed the next pitch deep into the seats in right-center for a 3-run homer that completed his cycle.

Sandberg lined out on an 0-2 pitch and the Cubs lost, 5-4.



Grace's cycle was the Cubs' 9th since 1901 and 11th overall.

Jimmy Ryan turned the trick twice before the Modern Era, in 1888 and 1891.

No one else has done it more than once. Before Grace, the cycles were by Hack Wilson (1930), Babe Herman (1933), Roy Smalley (1950), Lee Walls (1957), Randy Hundley and Billy Williams (both 1966), Ivan de Jesus (1980) and Andre Dawson (1987).

Each of those 9 had 1 double, 1 triple and 1 homer. Wilson, de Jesus and Dawson had 2 singles; the others, 1.



Grace's cycle was the 228th in Major League history. There have been 106 since then, including 1 in the post season.

The Rockies, who were in their first season in 1993, have hit 9, as have the Rangers.

The Nationals have hit 8.

The Diamondbacks, who didn't begin play until 1998, have hit 6.

The Athletics, Brewers, Mets and Red Sox have hit 5.

The Angels, Astros, Braves, Giants, Mariners and Twins have hit 4.

The Guardians, Orioles, Padres, Pirates, Tigers and White Sox have hit 3.

And the Cardinals, Dodgers, Jays, Phillies, Rays and Yankees have hit 2.

That's a total of 26 teams, with an average of 4 per team.



Three teams have gone longer than the Cubs without a cycle.

The Marlins have not had one since beginning play in 1993.

The last by the Royals, by George Brett, was on July 25, 1990.

The last by the Reds, by Eric Davis, was on June 2, 1989. Through Sunday, they have played 5,160 games since then.



The Cubs have played 4,508 games since Grace's cycle.

In 5 games, a player missed a cycle because he did not hit a single, most recently Ian Happ, on May 19, 2018.

In Game 2 of Saturday's doubleheader, Willson Contreras became the 27th player to fall short by a double.

There have been 241 times when no triple prevented a cycle. The first was Dwight Smith, the day after Grace did it. There were 8 just a season ago, the last by Matt Duffy on Sept. 15.

And 43 Cubs have singled, doubled and tripled but not homered. The most recent was Kyle Schwarber, on Sept. 17, 2019.

That adds up to 316 games in which a Cub came within 1 hit of a cycle -- 1 of every 14 total games!

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