Thursday, July 17, 2008

Joe DiMaggio's Hitting Streak Ends - July 17, 1941

Today is the 67th anniversary of when the greatest record in sports history ended...the Cleveland Indians snapped Joe DiMaggio's 56-game hitting streak...

July 17, 1941: DiMaggio's streak ends at 56 games
By Craig Muder

It might be baseball's most famous record and most recognizable number: 56 in 1941.

Joe DiMaggio's hitting streak was stopped on July 17 of that year by pitchers Al Smith and Jim Bagby Jr. of the Cleveland Indians -- with help from two sparkling defensive plays by third baseman Ken Keltner.

In the 67 years since, no one has even approached the record.

DiMaggio started the streak on May 15 against the Chicago White Sox. And after the 67,468 fans witnessed the end of the streak in Cleveland, DiMaggio hit in another 16 straight games -- reaching base with a hit in an other-worldly 72 of 73 games.

During the streak, DiMaggio hit 15 home runs and drove in 55 runs. He finished the season with 30 homers, 125 RBIs and a batting average of .357. He struck out just 13 times in 541 at-bats.

Since 1941, Pete Rose is the only player to even produce a 40-game hitting streak. Rose hit in 44 straight games in 1978, capturing the nation's attention as he chased DiMaggio. During Rose's streak, he drove in just 11 runs and did not homer.

In honor of the Yankee Clipper, enjoy this 3 minute video clip of the song Joltin' Joe DiMaggio by the Les Brown Orchestra...

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