YOU TALKIN’ TO ME – AUGUST 28
By ISM Staff
WILL ANYONE EXCEED THE 56 GAME HITTING STREAK OF JOE DIMAGGIO?
Gents, I believe that this topic is one that we may, for once, all be in agreement. I truly believe, and I’m talkin’ to all of you, that Joe D’s record 56 game hitting streak will never be broken and here’s why.
First, let me enlighten you to what The Yankee Clipper accomplished in 1941. The streak began on May 15 and ended July 17. DiMaggio hit .408 during his streak (91-for-223), with 15 home runs and 55 runs batted in. That eclipsed the 45 game mark set in, now catch this, 1896-97 when Wee Willie Keeler was playing for the then National League Baltimore Orioles.
So, let’s just deal with the facts, shall we? To find the closest any player in the Big Leagues has come to the 56 game mark we have to go back to 1978. Hey, South Beach and Mass Man, you weren’t even born yet, right?
The Cincinnati Reds Pete Rose fashioned a 44 game streak before that was stopped. If you do the math, which I always encourage our readers to do so I’m giving you the same challenge, Charlie Hustle would still have had to hit safely in another dozen games just to reach 56.
Also, the way the game is played today doesn’t encourage players to attempt to just get on base. With Sabermetrics ruling the day, hitters are directed to “swing for the fences” in every at bat. Hitting a home run every four or five games trumps the fact that you struck out close to a dozen times or more trying to accomplish that feat.
Brooklyn, you and I are baseball purists. It’s bad enough that we now have to endure 7 inning double headers and the extra inning courtesy runner. Is it as painful for you to watch, when a batter gets two strikes, that they don’t “choke up and hit to right” so you don’t make out as t is for me? Those day, my friend, I think are over.
So, I’m giving all of you the ball to close and I’m heading to the showers. Where do you stand on this one?
Low Ball, you killed it and you are spot on! Even bringing up Pete Rose’s 44 game streak. Boy, was Pete pissed when it ended. He called out the Braves pitching staff, who halted the streak, for not challenging him with fastballs. Classic Pete.
But not only is the DiMaggio streak unbreakable, players today are ill-equipped to even try. Like you reference, LB, these guys don’t choke up, go the other way, bunt, or implement any sort of situational strategy nowadays. As of today, the longest hit streak in MLB in 2021 is a mere 13 games, with several players earning a hit in 13 consecutive games. Yikes! How about we hit into the shift? Shall we fellas?
Speaking of “the shift,” how about we go the other way? Novel thought their right, South Beach and Mass Man.
Maybe Miami Vice Guy and Nor’easter Fella have a younger perspective on this one, but there hasn’t been a Tony Gwynn in the league since well, maybe, Ichiro Suzuki? Regardless, no one is hitting for average in MLB any longer. Drop the mike because it’s the end of the story.
I’ll have to hand it to Mass Man, he really hit it on the head.
Although the contact rate has dropped the past few years, the main reason for this is not on the hitter’s end.
Low Ball, the days of your youth, watching Joltin’ Joe playing at the old Yankee Stadium are long past.
The pitching in MLB has become downright nasty and almost unhittable at times. Joe DiMaggio did not have to deal with a 90 mph sinker or a 102 mph fastball once, let alone night in and night out. Don’t even get me started if he had to face a pitcher like Brooklyn’s beloved Jacob DeGrom.
Combine that with bullpen specialists and there is truly no respite for the bitter. Maybe one day the league will shift again and players will begin to hit for contact and rule changes like mound distance or height will create another “small ball” era. Until then, I think we should celebrate every time we get a 30 game hit streak because that may just be the ceiling and this one isn’t made of glass.
Boys, I am 1000% with Low Ball on this one. The game is going to dramatically change in order for someone to even have a chance at touching this record ever again, and I doubt that will ever happen.
Not only has Sabermetrics led to hitters prioritizing the long ball, but, also, just as the saying goes, “Chicks dig the long ball”. Home runs are fascinating for fans and arguably the most attractive part of the game from a fan’s perspective. Professional baseball, along with all sports, is part of the entertainment business. What that means is that if home runs are a huge draw for fans, Major League Baseball is going to want to encourage teams to continue going for the long ball.
There’s also another component that will be another reason why this record will never be broken; pitchers are getting better and better. In this era of baseball, we have never had so many guys throwing the baseball over 100 mph or with nearly as much movement on their pitches. Baseball has never had this many aces pitching at one time with the likes of DeGrom, Kershaw, Scherzer, Sale, Cole, and the list continues. Pitchers are so good at what they do right now that the metrics have shifted towards hitters going for the long ball and hoping they can connect on a pitch well enough that it leaves the ballpark.
For baseball purists, like Low Ball and Brooklyn, this change in the game is a tough pill to swallow, and I wish teams wouldn’t worry about the metrics behind the game as much and have hitters hit for contact and not strike out as much. But hey, chicks do dig the long ball, I guess. Right?