Joe’s Streak

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.

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4 Responses to “Joe’s Streak”

  1. William Miller Says:

    Imagine what he could have done in a ballpark that was kinder to right-handed hitters? The left center-field power gap was almost 490 feet from home plate! Cool post, Bill

  2. verdun2 Says:

    Good point about the park. I guess there must be someone more ill served by his park than DiMaggio, but I can’t think of anyone at the moment. I think it’s a measure of his greatness that his numbers are as good as they are. I don’t know if Mantle was really better or not, but many of his numbers are superior just because he could hit from the left side of the plate when necessary.
    Thanks for reading.
    v

  3. Kevin G Says:

    Ted Williams hit .406 over 143 games with an OBP of .553. He scored 135 runs and drove in 120.
    The 56 game streak is impressive and may never be topped, but Ted Williams out performed DiMaggio that season.

  4. verdun2 Says:

    Don’t disagree, I merely point out the Joe D had a heck of a third of a season. Over his career I think Williams joins Duke Snider as the 2 guys most jobbed by MVP voting.
    v

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