Sixty-nine years ago baseball was in the midst of Joe DiMaggio’s all-time Major League hit streak of 56 games. I’m reminded of this because of the kid in college who is closing in on Robin Ventura’s university streak. DiMaggio’s streak has been done to death over the years and there’s not much to add, but I’d like to look at a couple of aspects of it.
DiMaggio hit .408 during the streak. A lot of people have commented on that, but I’ve seen very little commentary on how productive that .408 was when it was occurring. Over the life of the streak, Joe D racked up 159 total bases. That’s 2.8 bases per game. He scored exactly 56 runs (obviously one per game) and knocked in 55 (just under one per game). So this isn’t just going out and getting a single a day and being content to push the streak forward. He’s being productive with his effort. In his entire streak, DiMaggio makes 132 outs (2.3 per game). Now go back a couple of sentences and look at the total bases (159 and 2.8 per game). What he’s doing is producing more bases per game over 56 games than he is making outs. That’s more spectacular than just getting a hit in 56 consecutive games, at least to me.
So let’s hear it for DiMaggio and his streak. Let’s also hear it for the production during the streak. Both are equally significant.
BTW on this date in 1941, the Yankees played a double-header against Cleveland. DiMaggio went 2 for 8, both singles.