Yesterday, Atlanta Braves second baseman Dan Uggla saw his 33 game hitting streak come to an end. Even though he was still 23 games away from matching Joe DiMaggio’s legendary 56 game hitting streak, 33 games is nothing to sneeze at. He fell short of the Braves team mark at 37, but still helped his team win 19 of 33 during the streak.
When you talk about DiMaggio and 56, Cleveland obviously enters into the discussion. It was in Cleveland on July 17, 1941 that DiMaggio’s hit streak finally ended when he failed to get a hit off of either Al Smith or Jim Bagby. There were several hard hit balls, but Ken Keltner made nice plays at 3rd to keep DiMaggio hitless throughout the game.
Even though the streak ended in Cleveland, DiMaggio did get a number of hits off Indians pitching between the start of the streak on May 15, 1941 and his 56th game on July 16, 1941. In fact, 7 games of the hit streak were against the Indians; the pitchers that DiMaggio got hits off of includes Al Milnar (two different times), Mel Harder, Bob Feller (two different times), Jim Bagby, and a combo of Al Milnar and Joe Krakauskas in game 56.
The Yankees played every team in the American League during DiMaggio’s streak (there were only 8 total in 1941), and this is the breakdown of how many times they played each team during the run to 56 – Chicago White Sox 12, St. Louis Browns 12, Boston Red Sox 8, Detroit Tigers 7, Washington Senators 5, Philadelphia Athletics 5.
So who has the longest hitting streak in Cleveland Indians history? The namesake of this blog, Nap Lajoie, with 31 games in 1906. Sandy Alomar Jr. came close to breaking it in 1997 with 30 consecutive games. Here’s a breakdown of everyone who had a hitting streak of 30+ games. (It’s a few days old; Uggla is listed at 31.)