Pirates Vault: Kendall hits for rare cycle

June 20th, 2021

MLB.com is digging back into its massive video vault to uncover classic plays that you have loved, forgotten about or, perhaps, are discovering for the very first time. Watch these moments and many, many more on the MLB Vault YouTube page.

May 19, 2000: Kendall hits for cycle
There have been 25 cycles in Pittsburgh history, but only two by a catcher. Jason Kendall, a fan favorite in Pittsburgh, became the second Pirate to accomplish the task on May 19, 2000, in front of a home crowd. Kendall lifted a homer off St. Louis starter Rick Ankiel in the first inning, then singled in the second and doubled in the third. The dreaded "triple shy" title was shed in the eighth, when the catcher drove a ball deep to the gap in right-center field, and the fans at Three Rivers Stadium erupted.

July 27, 2009: A catch ... with an asterisk
We now know it as a catch, but Garrett Jones' crazy bobble and Delwyn Young's amazing snag were not ruled an out in the Pirates' game against the Giants. San Francisco's Randy Winn lined a ball out to right-center field at AT&T Park, where Jones rushed in to field it, but it kicked off his right leg, then he booted the ball off his left foot. Young, ranging back from second base, laid out to corral the ball, but it was ruled a hit as the umpiring crew believed the ball bounced off the ground and not off Jones' foot (Winn was tagged out between first and second anyway).

July 21, 2008: Sanchez's mad dash
The Pirates trailed the Astros by a run entering the ninth inning, but they quickly got a pair of homers that inning to erase the deficit. What Freddy Sanchez did just made it an even more fun come-from-behind win. With two outs and two on, Sanchez hit a ball deep to right-center field, where it nicked off a diagonal cut of padding and kicked down the wall to the right-field corner. Hunter Pence gave it a chase and fired in quickly, but the relay missed the catcher right as Sanchez slid into home safely for a three-run, inside-the-park homer that capped a seven-run inning.

July 20, 2002: Hyzdu gets curtain call
Rarely does a fourth outfielder end up being the one to get a curtain call, but it happened on July 20, 2002, in front of a 35,101 people at PNC Park. Adam Hyzdu, who played a career-high 59 games that season with the Pirates, hit a three-run homer in his first at-bat off St. Louis starter Travis Smith. After singling in the third, Hyzdu matched his earlier blast in the fifth inning with another three-run shot, as the crowd cheered him back out of the dugout. But it didn't end with the curtain call: Hyzdu knocked an RBI single in the eighth inning, marking his seventh RBI of the game. Only five players in Pirates history (since 1901) have had more RBIs in a game.

June 21, 2003: Giles climbs wall for homer
Brian Giles had just hit an RBI single in the bottom of the seventh to help the Pirates dig out of a deficit, but what he did in the top of the eighth proved even more massive. Cleveland's Brandon Phillips launched a ball to left field wall that was destined to be a two-run homer. However, Giles took off at a sprint toward the ball and -- at full speed -- dug his left foot into the padding of the wall and lunged to snag it for the out, saving two runs. It allowed the Pirates to tie the game in the ninth inning before winning the four-hour, 58-minute affair in 15 innings on a wild pitch.

April 25, 2003: Wells' tape-measure HR tops batter's eye
The beautiful Roberto Clemente Bridge out past the center-field wall at PNC Park makes for a beautiful target for sluggers, but Pirates pitcher Kip Wells got about as close as anyone has to actually clubbing a ball that far. Wells laid into a pitch from opposing starter Odalis Pérez and belted it off the top of the batter's eye, making him just the third batter at the time to hit the green wall at PNC -- and putting him in the same breath as Mike Piazza.

Again, to reiterate ... Wells was the Bucs' starting pitcher that day, showing the rest of his lineup how the whole hitting thing is done.

Oct. 13, 1960: Clemente's hustle keeps Game 7 rally alive
Game 7 of the 1960 World Series famously featured about as many twists and turns as any Fall Classic contest ever, but here's one perhaps overlooked play starring the great Roberto Clemente. With the Pirates trailing the Yankees by two runs with two outs in the eighth, Clemente hit a dribbler to first baseman Bill Skowron and raced down the line before Skowron or pitcher Jim Coates could cover the bag.

Clemente's hustle single cut Pittsburgh's deficit to one and kept the line moving, setting up Hal Smith's massive three-run homer in the very next at-bat. Plenty more action would follow of course, before Bill Mazeroski clubbed his legendary walk-off shot to win the title.

July 27, 1998: Guillen's all-time OF throw at Coors Field
Here's a rocket that still has to be included in any reel of the all-time outfield throws in MLB history. After just missing on a leaping catch attempt at the right-field wall, Jose Guillen recovered the ball and launched a jaw-dropping throw straight to third base on the fly to nab Colorado's Neifi Perez as he tried for a triple. Whether it was aided just slightly by the thin air at Coors Field doesn't even matter; an outfielder simply can't throw a ball any better than Guillen did here.

May 19, 2015: Álvarez homers into a boat
If you parked your boat next to PNC Park when Pedro Álvarez was in the Pirates' lineup, you might have just subconsciously signed up for a souvenir delivery. That's what happened to one Pittsburgh boat owner when Álvarez demolished a pitch from the Twins' Ricky Nolasco and deposited it into a vessel on the Allegheny River. Álvarez became just the third player in PNC Park history to clear the stadium and hit a ball into the river on the fly ... though technically this tater never made a splash.

Sept. 16, 1975: Stennett's seven-hit game
In honor of the late Rennie Stennett, who passed away earlier this month, we're dusting off the footage from Stennett's most famous game on Sept. 16, 1975. That's when Stennett set a Major League record that still stands by going a perfect 7-for-7 across the Pirates' 22-0 drubbing of the Cubs. Stennett's big day included a piece of trivia that only baseball could provide: His first hit came off Chicago starter Rick Reuschel, while his seventh and final hit came off Paul Reuschel, Rick's brother.