Joe DiMaggio’s Hitting Streak Won’t Be Broken, Says Robin Ventura

Joe DiMaggio’s 56-game hitting streak record probably won’t be broken any time soon, according to White Sox manager Robin Ventura.

DiMaggio’s streak started on May 15 exactly 75 years ago, and Ventura can’t imagine someone getting “within 10 of it,” according to New York Daily News.

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“It’s just harder,” Ventura said Sunday, according to the Chicago Tribune. “If anyone watched the end of our game (Saturday), you see what’s possible. And a guy who’s going to have a hitting streak like that will have somebody waiting for them in the bullpen, in case they come up in a situation that they can turn the game around with a swing or getting on. It would have to be the right guy (to break the streak), somebody who is fast that can kind of beat some into the ground and beat them out.”

Ventura holds the record for hitting streaks in the NCAA, with a 58-game record, but the professional league is a harder place to accomplish such a goal. He set his record at Oklahoma State in 1987.

DiMaggio’s streak actually started during a game that the Yankee’s ended up losing. The Yankee’s were playing the White Sox, and they lost the game 13-1.

The anniversary of Joe DiMaggio’s streak was met with a curious technology predicament when the MLB’s At Bat application sent out a notification to users that DiMaggio had just hit a single in the first inning, according to Vocativ. DiMaggio died 17 years ago, so it confused many of the app users who received the notification.

DiMaggio’s streak lasted until July 16 of the same year, and DiMaggio had 91 hits in total. Of the 91 hits, DiMaggio got 15 home runs. Pete Rose got somewhat close to DiMaggio’s record in 1978 when he managed to get a 44-game streak.

The MLB Network released a documentary on Sunday focusing on Joe DiMaggio’s record streak called 56: The Streak. The documentary talks about exactly what Ventura was referencing, which is that it would be extremely difficult to have that kind of streak in today’s baseball league. Ventura is featured in the documentary as well.

MLB is also releasing what appears to be news stories that actually look at the streak as if it was happening today, but the articles are dated with when the streak was actually happening.

“The Yankees can’t seem to get out of their own way,” the article for May 17, 1941 reads. “One day after rekindling hope that they’d broken out of an early-season slump, they slid right back into it in a rather listless 3 to 2 loss to the White Sox before a Saturday crowd of 10,272 fans at Yankee Stadium. The latest setback has them back under the.500 mark at 15-16 and searching for answers and some offense.”

Many argue part of the reason Joe DiMaggio was able to set his record was that pitchers used to stay in the game longer than they would today, according to The Wall Street Journal. DiMaggio surely would have gotten to know pitchers well, since there were fewer of them, and pitchers who play longer will be less effective later in the game.

Joe DiMaggio played for the New York Yankees his entire career, and he started with them at the age of 21 in 1936. He was in the major league’s for 13 years, and he was widely celebrated.

DiMaggio’s 1949 contract set its own record when he was signed for a $100,000 deal with the Yankees. That’s nearly a million dollars in today’s money.

DiMaggio’s record broke the record of George Sisler before him, who had a 41-game streak. Newspapers wrote about DiMaggio’s streak from the beginning of it to the end of it, and it’s still talked about frequently today.

[Photo by Keystone/Getty Images]