Questions of the Day

AP Photo/Alex Gallardo

by Wally

Andre Ethier of the LA Dodgers extended his hitting streak to 28 games last night vs the Cubbies, so he is now halfway to reaching Joe DiMaggio’s “unbreakable” 56 game hitting streak of 1941.    So … two questions for all you fans out there:

1) How high will Ethier go on this run before it comes to an end?  How many games?

2) Is Joe D’s 56 game hitting streak the “most unbreakable record” in all of sports, as it’s often referred to?   In terms of difficulty, where does it rank versus other record-setting feats, regardless of sport or team vs individual?   (For some historical perspective, I’ve posted the 10 longest hitting streaks in MLB history below.)

Rank Year Name Team League Games
1. 1941 Joe DiMaggio (AL Record) New York AL 56
2. 1896-1897 Willie Keeler (NL Record) Baltimore NL 45
3. 1978 Pete Rose Cincinnati NL 44
4. 1894 Bill Dahlen Chicago NL 42
5. 1922 George Sisler St. Louis AL 41
6. 1911 Ty Cobb Detroit AL 40
7. 1987 Paul Molitor Milwaukee AL 39
8. 2005-2006 Jimmy Rollins Philadelphia NL 38
9. 1945 Tommy Holmes Boston NL 37
10. 1896-1897 Gene DeMontreville Washington NL 36

9 Responses to "Questions of the Day"

  1. Chas   May 3, 2011 at 4:18 pm

    Any prediction regarding when his streak will end is just a guess, so I’ll say he’ll make it to 37, thereby cracking the top ten above.

    As for the most unbreakable record, from a baseball perspective, I’d say Cy Young’s 511 wins or pretty much any record involving the triple. Sam Crawford holds that career mark with 309. The current leader among active players shares the same last name. His mark? 105. I suppose it’s possible he could come close to doubling that total, which would be really impressive, but there ain’t no way he’s getting anywhere near 300.

    But those are unfair comparisons, since the game has changed so much since those records were set. I’ll say this about DiMaggio’s record: for something that seems so incredibly possible, it’s pretty much unattainable.

  2. bill ribas   May 3, 2011 at 4:33 pm

    low 30’s is my guess. so much more attention on the game now, media, internets and all, that hitting consistently for 2 months is a longshot. the talent pool is a lot larger, as well, so that narrows down the chances.

    As for the most unbreakable? Hmmm, not sure, although I would lean toward a pitcher winning 30 games, like Denny McClain did back in 68 (I think it was 68). Given how pitchers are pulled at any sign of weakness, i’d say a 30 game win season is harder than hitting in a row. More variables for one, as in the rest of the team has to play well. For hits, you can just knock a dying quail, and it’s still a hit.

  3. Wally   May 3, 2011 at 6:19 pm

    Bill –
    30 wins is a GREAT, INCREDIBLE season for a pitcher, but that’s not even the record … McLain was just the last one to do it, right?

    How about Nolan Ryan’s career strikeout record?

    UCLA’s 88 game winning streak in basketball? Or UConn women’s streak for that matter?

    Chicago Bulls 72-10 regular season record with MJ, Scottie and Phil?

    Rickey Henderson’s single season stolen base mark?

    You touched a bit on the beauty of baseball … where one can get a hit on one of those blooping Texas Leaguers … but at the same time they can go 0-4 with three frozen ropes hit right at someone. Luck has a lot to do with a streak like this.

  4. Smitty   May 3, 2011 at 8:40 pm

    How about Orel Hershiser’s 59 1/3 scoreless innings streak? I am not sure it will ever be topped.

  5. Casey   May 3, 2011 at 9:43 pm

    Ted Williams reaching base safely in 84 consecutive games.

    Bobby Orr season +/- of 124.

  6. bill ribas   May 3, 2011 at 11:27 pm

    Maybe I can take some time tomorrow to chart up records and possibilities of them being broken.

  7. Wally   May 4, 2011 at 6:57 am

    Ethier is now at 29. I think he’ll get to 34 or so and then lose it. Would be nice to see him get into the 40s and create some excitement though.

    Casey … 84 for Ted is awesome, but I think hitting safely in 56 is harder. Bobby’s record of +124 is gonna be tough to break. What’s the next highest in history?

    Smitty, Orel’s 59 scoreless innings probably won’t ever be broken. But I think getting there is maybe a bit easier than hitting safely in 56 consecutive.

    Chas … nobody is touching those career marks you mentioned.

  8. Wally   May 4, 2011 at 8:55 am

    Figures my White Sox would get no-hit by a pitcher with an ERA over 9 coming in! Ugh … gonna be a long season 🙁 But speaking of no-hitters and records, Nolan Ryan’s career 7 no-no’s certainly seems unbreakable.

  9. Casey   May 5, 2011 at 8:31 am

    Larry Robinson came close to breaking Orr’s mark when he had a +/- of 120 in the ’76-’77 season. That year Robinson played on a Canadiens that lost 8 – yes 8 games. That team might have been the greatest in history. He still couldn’t break Orr’s mark. Nobody else has come within 20 of the record. This year’s leader, Zdeno Chara has 33.

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