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Fumio Fujimura
Fumio Fujimura

There have been 70 cycles in Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) since Fumio Fujimura's (pictured) first cycle during the single league era in 1948. Completing the cycle is the accomplishment of hitting a single, a double, a triple, and a home run in the same game. Collecting the hits in that order is known as a "natural cycle", which has occurred five times in NPB. Hitting for the cycle was not recognized in Japanese professional baseball until former Major League Baseball (MLB) player Daryl Spencer made a remark about it after hitting for the cycle with the Hankyu Braves in 1965. The most cycles hit by a player in Nippon Professional Baseball is three, accomplished by Bobby Rose. Three other NPB players have hit for multiple cycles: Fumio Fujimura with the Osaka Tigers and Hiromi Matsunaga with the Hankyu/Orix Braves and Kosuke Fukudome with the Chunichi Dragons and the Hanshin Tigers, all with two. No player has ever hit a cycle in both the Central and Pacific Leagues; however, after Alex Ochoa hit his cycle with the Chunichi Dragons on April 13, 2004, he became the only player to hit a cycle in both MLB and NPB. (Full list...)

Today's featured picture

Raising the Flag on the Three-Country Cairn

Finnish soldiers raising the flag at the three-country cairn between Norway, Sweden and Finland on 27 April 1945, following the end of the Lapland War and thus, the end of World War II in Finland. Taken by Colonel V.J. Oinonen, this photograph became an iconic symbol of the war in Finland and was compared to the American Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima and the Soviet Raising a Flag over the Reichstag.

Photograph: Colonel V.J. Oinonen

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