Here are two numbers for you to consider: 55 and 56.

Fifty-five is the number of times a player in Major League Baseball has had a hitting streak of at least 30 games, most recently in 2016 when Freddie Freeman of the Atlanta Braves did it.

Fifty-six is the record set by Joe DiMaggio in 1941 for the New York Yankees, a record that was last seriously chased in 1978 when Pete Rose hit in 44 consecutive games.

Hitting streaks are a part of baseball lore that help the sport stay interesting across different generations. There have been only six streaks of 40 games or more, two of them happening in the 1800s and another coming in 1911 by Ty Cobb.

Like hitting .400, something Luis Arraez of the Miami Marlins is trying to accomplish this season, a hitting streak that stretches into the 30s is a rarity seen only a few times each decade, if at all. There were no 30-game hitting streaks in the 1950s, and some of the streaks of 30 or more games took place over consecutive seasons.

For some baseball purists, a hitting streak must take place in a single season. So, when someone makes the case that Jimmie Rollins of the Phillies had a terrific 38-game streak nearly two decades ago, others will point out that 36 of those hits came in the 2005 season and two others came in 2006.

Splitting hairs? Maybe. But when it comes to baseball and its records, there are those who will not even consider anything that happened in the dead-ball era prior to 1900, and there are others who will argue that Negro League streaks should have a place in MLB history even though they did not take place in the major leagues.

Ty Cobb, Sam Rice, and George Sisler are the only players with multiple streaks of 30 games or longer, and a 52-game streak by Denny Lyons of the 1887 Philadelphia Athletics came at a time when walks were counted as hits, and his streak included two games in which his only “hits” were walks.

That is one of the beauties of baseball. It is a sport that provokes discussion as much as it produces drama.

What is the longest hitting streak in MLB history?

Joe DiMaggio hit .408 during his record-holding 56-game streak in the 1941 season, which ended with the Yankees defeating the Brooklyn Dodgers 4-1 in the World Series. Known as “Joltin Joe” and the “Yankee Clipper,” DiMaggio and the Yankees won 10 American League pennants and nine World Series championships during his 13-year career, and DiMaggio was such an American icon that he married actress Marilyn Monroe.

On July 2, 1941, DiMaggio broke Willie Keeler’s record of 44 consecutive games by homering into Yankee Stadium’s left-field stands in front of a crowd of 52,832. DiMaggio had 15 home runs and 55 RBIs during the streak, which ended in Cleveland on July 17.

Who has the longest hitting streak in MLB 2023?

Marcus Semien of the Texas Rangers had a 25-game hitting streak that ended on June 7, and Freddie Freeman of the Dodgers and Mauricio Dubon of the Houston Astros had 20-game streaks.

The Top 10 longest hitting streaks in MLB history

  1. Gene DeMontreville, 36-game streak

Year of Streak: 1896-1897
Washington Senators

DeMontreville had a hitting streak over the last 17 games of 1896 and the first 19 games of 1897. This streak was not discovered until 2007, and at that time there were only nine longer hitting streaks in MLB history. After leaving baseball, where he played for eight teams, DeMontreville worked for the Mid-South Fair in Memphis, where he was the concessions manager. On Feb. 18, 1935, a fire broke out in one of the concession stands. DeMontreville collapsed and died as he ran to investigate the fire.

  1. Tommy Holmes, 37-game streak

Year of Streak: 1945
Boston Braves

A .302 lifetime hitter, Holmes had a 1945 hitting streak that lasted from June 6 through July 8. Holmes struck out just nine times in 1945, and his ratio of home runs (28) to strikeouts that season is one of the best in baseball history. He was signed by the Yankees after growing up in Brooklyn and hitting .613 and .585 at Brooklyn Tech, but he could not crack the Yankees outfield and was dealt to the Braves, where he played all but one of his 11 seasons. He later worked for the Mets as their director of amateur baseball relations.

  1. Jimmy Rollins, 38-game streak

Year of Streak: 2005-2006
Philadelphia Phillies

A specialist in getting triples and stolen bases, Rollins was the 2007 National League MVP and a key member of Phillies teams that won five consecutive divisional titles. In 2005, his streak spanned the season's final 36 games. During those 36 games, he hit .379. The 2005 streak was the longest hitting streak in Phillies' history, surpassing Ed Delahanty’s 31-game streak. Rollins’ streak extended two games into the 2006 season. He is now a special advisor to the team’s director of baseball operations.

  1. Paul Molitor, 39-Game streak

Year of Streak: 1987
Team: Milwaukee Brewers

Molitor was a fan favorite in Milwaukee throughout much of his 21-year playing career, after which he managed the Minnesota Twins. His hitting streak garnered national attention in the late 1980s, and it ended with him in the on-deck circle on Aug. 26, 1987, when Rick Manning drove in the winning run against Cleveland. Ironically, Manning got booed for depriving Molitor of one last chance to reach 40 games. 

  1. Ty Cobb, 40-game streak

Year of Streak: 1911
Detroit Tigers

Cobb, who had a 35-game streak later in his career in 1917, had a friendship with Shoeless Joe Jackson. Late in the 1911 season, Cobb began heckling and ignoring Jackson when they played each other. This was a mind game meant to confuse Jackson, and Cobb felt it caused Jackson to "fall off" to a final average of .408, twelve points lower than Cobb's .420. Cobb made a fortune through a partnership with Coca-Cola and owned three bottling plants in Idaho, Oregon, and Indiana.

  1. George Sisler, 41-game streak

Year of Streak: 1922
St. Louis Browns

This was a season in which Sisler hit .422 and strained a deltoid muscle while stretching to field a throw when his streak stood at 39 games. He missed a week, got hits in his next two games, then went hitless on Sept. 19. His streak remained the AL record until DiMaggio broke it. Sisler accumulated a .340 lifetime batting average over his 16 years in the major leagues and stole 375 bases during his career. He also posted a career pitching record of 5-6 with a 2.35 ERA. He later was a broadcaster for the Cardinals and Browns before being one of the Brooklyn Dodgers coaches who worked with Jackie Robinson.

  1. Bill Dahlen, 42-game streak

Year of Streak: 1894
Chicago Colts

A shortstop whose greatest successes came in Brooklyn, Bill Dahlen’s streak lasted from June 20 to August 6, 1984, to surpass the record 33-game streak by George Davis set one year earlier. Amazingly, after going 0-for-6 in the next game, a 10-inning contest on August 7, Dahlen pulled off another 28-game streak, ending up having hit in 70 of 71 games. His post-career years included jobs as an attendant at Yankee Stadium and as a post office night clerk in Brooklyn. Until 2006, he was buried in an unmarked grave.

  1. Pete Rose, 44-game streak

Year of Streak: 1978
Cincinnati Reds

There was tremendous national interest in Pete Rose’s pursuit of Joe DiMaggio’s record, which had stood virtually unchallenged for 37 years. On July 19, in a game against the Phillies, Rose was hitless going into the eighth inning when he walked. His team was trailing in the ninth inning, and the streak appeared over, but the Reds batted through their entire lineup and gave Rose another chance to bat, and he laid down a bunt single. Atlanta’s Gene Garber ended the streak by intentionally throwing an off-speed pitch out of the strike zone on a 2-2 count that Rose swung at and missed. Rose was irate, accusing Garber and the Braves of treating it like the ninth inning of the seventh game of the World Series.

  1. Willie Keeler, 45-game streak

Year of Streak: 1896-1897
Baltimore Orioles

Willie Keeler’s streak began in the final game of the 1896 season and continued with hits in the first 44 games of the next season. Standing just 5-foot-4½, Keeler often intentionally fouled off two-strike pitches with bunts, leading to the rule change that makes a bunted foul ball with two strikes count as a strikeout. One of the greatest contact hitters of all time and notoriously hard to strike out, Keeler has the highest career at bats-per-strikeout ratio in MLB history. Throughout his career, on average, he went more than 60 at bats between Ks.

  1. Joe DiMaggio, 56-game streak Year of Streak: 1941
    New York Yankees

This is the gold standard that might one day fall but thus far has stood for 82 years. DiMaggio recorded 67 hits in 179 at-bats during the first 45 games of his streak, while Keeler recorded 88 hits in 201 at-bats over the same span. DiMaggio was the first player to sign for $100,000, and in the 1970s he became the spokesman for Mr. Coffee, helping make it the No. 1 home appliance in its category. He also was a spokesman for the Bowery Savings Bank. The New York Times has called his hitting streak “the most enduring record in sports.”


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