Sunday, July 17, 2011
A More Impressive Streak Than DiMaggio's 56
Seventy years ago today Joe DiMaggio failed to get a hit and his epic hit streak ended at 56 games. The streak captured the attention of the American public and is considered one of the most unbreakable streaks in baseball. But is there a streak more impressive than Joltin' Joe's?
Cam Martin, a writer YahooSports: The Post Game, wrote an article entitled Does Ted Williams Own A More Impressive Streak Than Joe DiMaggio?, where he argues that Ted Williams' streak of reaching base safely in 84 consecutive games in 1949 actually may be more impressive than "The Streak" of 56. Martin concedes that to a lot of fans a hit streak is much more captivating than a streak that can stay alive with a walk. Williams' longest hitting streak was only 23 games, but his 84 game streak shows just as much consistency as DiMaggio's streak.
Just think, the 84 consecutive games that Williams reached base were more than half of the games he played during the 1949 season. He ended up hitting .343 in '49, while leading the league in on-base percentage (.490), slugging percentage (.650), home runs (43), RBI (159), walks (162), doubles (39), and runs (150). That is absolute domination. To put the 84 game streak in perspective, DiMaggio only reached safely in 74 straight games during the summer of his legendary hit streak. I agree with Martin, on-base percentage is more important than batting average, and Williams' streak should get just as much attention as DiMaggio's.