Tides' Henderson celebrates 21st birthday with cycle

Gunnar Henderson
Posted at 11:16 PM, Jun 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-30 00:02:33-04

NORFOLK, VA (WTKR)- Some of us enjoy a celebratory drink for our 21st birthday. The Tides' Gunnar Henderson decided to celebrate by making history.

Henderson hit for the cycle on Tuesday night during Norfolk's 8-2 win over Gwinnett. He capped off the feat with a sixth inning double, the first time a Tides' player has hit for the cycle since June 9, 2000. The infielder knew what was at stake when he stepped to the plate in the sixth.

"It was kind of an idea in my head," Henderson smiled. "I think I swung a little bit too hard the first two swings and then kind of toned it down on the last one and was able to get it done so it was pretty awesome."

"There's no doubt that was in the back of his mind," added Tides' manager Buck Britton. "I'm glad he stuck with his approach, got a good pitch to hit and happened to get it done."

The timing could not have been better. Henderson conquered the cycle on the eve of turning 21 years old.

"It's probably one of the top gifts that I've gotten so far," he chuckled.

Henderson's cycle is the first for the franchise since becoming an Orioles' affiliate in 2007. Timo Perez accomplished the feat in 2000, one year before Henderson was born, when the Tides were part of the New York Mets minor league system. On Wednesday, the gravity of the feat was still setting in.

"I imagine it will once I kind of sit down," the infielder said. "It's kind of funny to think about how long ago that was."

"In person, that was my second (cycle he's seen)," Britton recalled. "In 2019 I was fortunate enough to go up with the major league team at the end of the year and Cavan Biggio hit for the cycle my second day in, so I thought they were going to ship me out after that."

In 16 games with the Tides, Henderson is hitting .324 with five home runs and 15 RBI.