A great look at the all-time record for reaching base safely in consecutive games – Ted Williams, 84 games in 1949. H/T The article doesn’t precisely say who is #2 on the list, but notes that inclusive of his hitting streak, Joe DiMaggio reached safely in 74 straight games in 1941. If he’s #2, that puts Williams 13.5% ahead of the number two streak – only half as big as Joe D’s margin over the second-longest hitting streak, but far enough ahead to probably rate a slot on my list of baseball’s most impressive records.
If you’re wondering: in DiMaggio’s streak, 74 games from May 14-August 2, 1941, he batted .404/.468/.731, scored 74 runs and drove in 73, with 120 hits, 34 walks and 2 HBP; he struck out just 6 times and hit into only 3 double plays, and the Yankees went 55-17 and buried the competition, building a 12.5 game lead. In Williams’ streak, 84 games from July 1 to September 27 in the heat of a ferocious pennant race, he batted .371/.518/.695 with 81 runs, 80 RBI, 112 hits, 92 walks, 0 HBP, struck out 19 times and hit into 12 double plays, and his team went 60-24, pulling from 8 games back of the Yankees before the start of the streak to a tenuous 1-game lead. DiMaggio’s BABIP during the 74-game streak was .369; Williams’ was .340. DiMaggio, of course, played in a vastly more difficult park.
DiMaggio played 139 games in 1941, and failed to reach base safely in just 6 of those. Williams played 155 games in 1949, and also failed to reach base safely in just 6 of those (5 of them in June, when Williams slumped badly…to .300/.442/.582). The difference is that 1941 was a huge year for Joe D – he batted .357/.440/.643, his third-highest career OPS compared to a lifetime mark of .325/.398/.579. For Williams, 1949 was little better than an average year, the 8th best OPS of his career and just below his career batting average – .343/.490/.650 compared to a lifetime mark of .344/.482/.634. (Although Williams did set career highs that year in the counting stats – plate appearances, at bats, hits, runs, RBI, homers, walks and total bases – and won the MVP).

2 thoughts on “Streakers”

  1. Ever notice how many times DiMaggio gets mentioned in odd stats? About the same as those who talk about how smooth he was (is that really important?) or that he wasn’t about the numbers, but somehow manage to bring up 56, or a bit less, his home run to strike out ratio. Ted’s big numbers helped his teams compete, going head to head against the big bad wolf. Joe? well, the ’41 Yankees would have been just fine if he had 2 28 game streaks. And since the Babe, Ted, Mickey, even Barry Bonds, muscle soup and all, didn’t have fewer K’s than HRs, it’s safe to conclude it’s just another Joe D statistical oddity.

  2. ESPN BB Ency (2006 Ed), for instance, has a list of Consecutive On-Base Streaks of 50 games or more, at p 1719.
    Joe D’s 74 = 2nd place
    Ted W has 3 & Joe D 2 of the over 50 game streaks

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