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Happy Anniversary! Joe DiMaggio's 56-Game Hitting Streak Began 70 Years Ago Today

Today marks the 70th anniversary of the beginning Joe DiMaggio's record 56-game hitting streak. Is the streak by the Yankee Clipper unbreakable? Maybe. Maybe not. Here are some facts about the streak that began on May 15 1941 with a single off Edgar Smith in a 3-1 New York Yankees loss to the Chicago White Sox.

  • DiMaggio batted .408 during the streak (91-for-223, with 15 home runs and 55 RBI).
  • The All-Star Game came in the middle of DiMaggio's streak that year, and he went 1-for-4 in the game.
  • The streak included 22 multi-hit games, 5 three hit games, four four hit games.
  • On June 17, an official scorer's decision pushed the streak to 30. Dan Daniel credited DiMaggio with a hit on a ground ball to short bounced up and hit Chicago's Luke Appling on the shoulder.
  • After the streak was broken on July 17, 1941 DiMaggio hit safely in the next 16 games -- giving him hits in 72 of 73 games.
  • While playing for the San Francisco Seals in the Pacific Coast League before joining the Yankees DiMaggio once had a 61-game hitting streak.

No one has ever gotten closer to breaking DiMaggio's mark than Pete Rose, who hit in 44 straight games in 1978. As I asked before, is this mark truly unbreakable? What do you think, baseball fans?

Sources:

Baseball Almanac
Research by Dr. Harvey Frommer