06 Jul

let’s go cycling

Tyler Pastornicky, looking more and more like the Atlanta Braves’ shortstop of the future, grabbed a little more attention on Tuesday night when he became the first player in the Mississippi Braves’ seven seasons to hit for the cycle. It’s quite a feat. Consider that fewer than 300 cycles have been recorded in the long history of major league ball. Only two Atlanta Braves have ever turned the trick: Albert Hall in 1987 and Mark Kotsay in 2008. The last Mississippian to do it in The Show was former Stone County High star Fred Lewis in 2007. Only four other Mississippi natives have managed the feat in modern MLB history: Frank White (1979 and 1982), Harry Craft (1940), Gee Walker (1937) and Sam Leslie (1936). On the local front, Vince Faison of the independent Jackson Senators cycled in 2005, and Russ Johnson of the Double-A Jackson Generals pulled it off in 1996. (Johnson’s feat happened to come on a day, May 9, when his photo was given out pregame as part of a club promotion.) It takes a good combination of speed and power — plus a little good fortune — to hit for the cycle. And Pastornicky has those tools. For the year, he’s hitting .298 with six homers, 36 RBIs, 11 doubles, five triples and 19 stolen bases. Yes, he’s going places.

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