Monday, July 17, 2017

1941: The DiMaggio streak ended at 56


Joe DiMaggio's 56 game hitting streak ended on this day in 1941 in Cleveland:
"On May 15, 1941, DiMaggio began his record-breaking streak against the White Sox in Yankee Stadium with a single and an RBI. As the streak continued, fans across the nation took notice.
DiMaggio broke George Sisler’s American League record of 41 consecutive games with a hit on June 29 at Griffith Stadium in Washington, and four days later, on July 2, DiMaggio broke "Wee" Willie Keeler’s major league record streak of 44 games.
As the nation followed DiMaggio’s progress and he continued to hit in game after game, the Les Brown Orchestra scored a hit with the popular tune "Joltin’ Joe DiMaggio."Finally, on July 17 in Cleveland, in a night game in front of 67,468 fans, DiMaggio went hitless against Cleveland pitchers Al Smith and Jim Bagby, Jr. In his first three at-bats, DiMaggio grounded out to third twice against Smith, both on hard-hit balls, and then walked.
With Bagby pitching in the eighth inning, DiMaggio hit into a double play, ending a Yankee rally and the greatest hitting streak in major league history.
DiMaggio confided to a teammate after the game that by failing to get a hit he had also lost the $10,000 promised to him by Heinz ketchup for matching the number "57" featured on their labels.DiMaggio won the 1941 American League MVP over Red Sox slugger Ted Williams in spite of the latter’s .406 batting average that season, the last time any major league player hit over .400.
DiMaggio retired after the 1951 season after 13 seasons with the Yankees that included 11 pennants and 10 World Series wins. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1955."
No one has come close, except for Pete Rose who had 44 in 1978.


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