08/18/2004 12:30 AM ET
Teixeira cycles his way to history
Becomes second-ever Ranger to achieve feat
By Jesse Sanchez / MLB.com
Mark Teixeira became the 17th switch-hitter to hit for the cycle in ML history. (Leigh T. Jimmie/AP)
ARLINGTON -- Rangers first baseman Mark Teixeira is only 24 years old, but he will already be remembered forever in the annals and memories of the Texas faithful for another glorious night in North Texas.
On Tuesday, the switch-hitting slugger made history at Ameriquest Field in Arlington against Cleveland when he became the second player in franchise history to hit for the cycle during a 16-4 victory.
Along the way, he became the 17th switch-hitter in history to hit for the cycle, with the last being Jose Valentin, who accomplished the feat with the White Sox in 2000.
"I think I did it in Little League when I was 11 or 12 years old, but never in high school or college or the pros," Teixeira said. "I was excited and definitely happy inside, but you never want to show up an opponent when you are winning."
Teixeira's single in the seventh inning off Indians reliever Cliff Bartosh completed the cycle and an eventful day that saw him go 4-for-5 with one strikeout and seven RBIs, a career high for runs driven in and the most by a Rangers player this season.
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Rangers outfielder Oddibe McDowell was the first player in Rangers history to hit for the cycle when he accomplished the feat July 23, 1985, at Arlington Stadium, also against Cleveland.
"It was nice to be a part of history here today," said Rangers teammate Kevin Mench, who fell a triple short of also hitting for the cycle. "Knowing Tex, he is just going to go out tomorrow and treat today like any other day. He had a good night and we all had pretty good nights, so it was nice to see it happen. I saw Hank [Blalock] do it in the minors, but it's not something you see all the time."
The first baseman doubled in the third, homered in the fourth -- his 29th of the season -- and tripled in the fifth, before recording the history-making single to complete the achievement with the Rangers up, 16-1.
McDowell doubled in the first, singled in the third, tripled in the fourth, singled again in the sixth and hit a solo home run in the eighth when he hit for the cycle.
"I'm not trying to do too much," Teixeira said. "I was talking to [performance enhancement specialist] Donnie Kalkstein tonight on the bench, telling him that I really wasn't feeling great before the game. I think that shows you don't have to be too excited or trying to do too much for good things to happen."
The cycle is the fifth in the Majors this season, the first in the American League and the first in the AL since Cleveland's Travis Hafner did it Aug. 14, 2003 against Minnesota. Overall, Teixeira's cycle is the 110th cycle in American League history and the 245th in Major League history.
"I know that not that many people do it," Teixeira said. "People will probably forget about it in a few weeks, but it's something I'll always have and I'll never forget. I may not ever do it again."
In the last five games, Teixeira is hitting .526 with six runs scored, two home runs and 16 RBIs. He was named the American League's Player of the Month for July and also won the AL Player of the Week during for his performance June 28 through July 4.
"This ranks right up there," he said.
Jesse Sanchez is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.