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On This Date: Byrnes Hits For The Cycle Against Giants

(Photo by MediaNews Group/The Mercury News via Getty Images)

17 years ago today, Eric Byrnes had himself a day at the plate as he hit for the cycle in an Athletics win

Baseball is nearing a return.

With Spring Training 2.0 around the corner, let’s look back on some good times while we wait for the Oakland A’s to take the field once again.

June 29, 2003: A’s 5, Giants 2

On this date in 2003, Eric Byrnes of the Oakland Athletics became the 259th player in Major League Baseball history to hit for the cycle, going 5-for-5 in a 5-2 win over the rival San Francisco Giants.

Byrnes finished the game with five hits–including two RBI–to lead the A’s past a Giants team that had made it to Game 7 of the World Series in the previous season.

After hitting a single, double and home run over the first five innings, Byrnes needed a triple to solidify the cycle.

The left-fielder just missed the cycle in the seventh inning, instead hitting his second double of the game. He would have one more chance in the top of the ninth inning against San Francisco reliever Felix Rodriguez.

Byrnes would lift a shallow fly-ball into center-field that would skip past Giants outfielder Carlos Valderrama, allowing Byrnes to advance to third base for the triple he needed to cement himself into history.

On the incredible moment, Byrnes shared his feelings on hitting for the cycle in his book The F* It List:

There really is no way to appropriately describe exactly what I was feeling because I had never experienced the way I felt at that moment in my entire life. I had flashbacks to all the Giants games that I went to growing up, cheering and heckling alongside many of the same fans that were in the stands that day. I was extremely humbled, grateful, and for whatever reason, I actually felt embarrassed. 

Eric Byrnes – The F* It List

Mark Mulder had a great game for Oakland, picking up the win after striking out three batters and only allowing one run over seven innings.

Keith Foulke claimed his 21st save of the season after a clean ninth inning.