Cal Ripken boasts MLB’s longest Iron-man streak, the controversial Barry Bonds busted the single-season home run mark and Ted Williams hit .406 in 1941.
Of all the impressive baseball records, however, I’ll still take Joe DiMaggio’s 56-game hitting steak as MLB’s most remarkable feat ever. The record hitting mark, which came the same year as Williams’ remarkable season, still seems as unapproachable as ever.
When you think about the great Pete Rose rolling off a 44-game hit streak in 1978 coming the closest within Joe D’s record it makes 56 all the more remarkable. Joltin’ Joe went 91 for 223 during the streak, hitting .408 but he was just as ‘Joe Cool’ before it and after it, as well. There was an aura about the man who was once married to Marilyn Monroe and promoted the “Mr. Coffee” line of products. (Funny, I just cleaned my coffee pot out tonight with a “Mr. Coffee” product … no kidding).
As much as people put DiMaggio on a pedestal, and in baseball terms he was on another level, he wasn’t unapproachable or a jerk. In fact, DiMaggio said he felt bad for the cab driver who felt he may have jinxed the Yankee legend by telling him he felt the hitting streak would end the day he rode in his cab. It did end, July 16 against the Indians as Ken Keltner made a pair of terrific plays at third base.
“I felt awful. [The cabbie] might have been spending his whole life thinking he had jinxed me, but I told him he hadn’t. My number was up.”
All streaks end, as even DiMaggio could appreciate. This one might not ever be broken, however.