Baseball’s still on a break, so take a second to remember an unexpected feat that happened five years ago today: Bengie Molina hit for the damn cycle.
On July 16, 2010, a few days after the Giants had traded Molina to the Rangers—fun fact: the two teams faced off in the World Series that season, and Molina was guaranteed a ring regardless of the winner—Texas played the Red Sox at Fenway. One of the world’s slowest professional athletes would accomplish something incredible.
Molina started out with a routine single to center in the second inning, and followed up in the fourth with a double that bounced off J.D. Drew’s glove. The ball seemed catchable enough to possibly be ruled an error, but apparently the scorekeeper kept in mind that it was a ball hit to J.D. Drew.
The Rangers chased starter Felix Doubront out in the fifth inning; Fernando Cabrera came in and issued two straight walks. With the bases still loaded, Molina took a breaking ball out of the park for his home run, and opened up a 7-3 lead over Boston.
This is the part where one would normally say that Molina was “a triple shy of the cycle.” Triples are difficult enough for any MLB player, but for 35-year-old Bengie Molina? Up to that point, he had accrued five career triples and three career stolen bases in 12 seasons. There was a good chance that you could run the bases faster than Bengie. On that night, however, the stars aligned, and Molina took his opportunity. The catcher hit one to deep center, Eric Patterson flubbed it, and the ball bounced into Fenway’s notorious triangle.
Watching the video, it’s still impossible to determine how the hell Molina made it to third. The broadcast—accompanied by the booth cheering for Molina to get on his horse—cuts to Molina not even at second base after Patterson’s initial screwup, and when Patterson makes his throw, Molina’s nowhere close to third. Molina appears to be jogging, but that’s honestly as fast as he can go.
After a fist-bump, Molina was replaced for pinch runner Joaquin Arias. Bengie earned the rest of the night off.
H/t to John
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