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1. Joe DiMaggio's hitting streak

56
HOW LONG IT'S STOOD:
65 years (1941)

CLOSEST CALL SINCE:
44 games, by Pete Rose in 1978

This is it -- the record that has it all. Held by one of the most worshipped players of all time. (Sheez, we were accused by an e-mailer of trying to "bring down" DiMaggio just because we merely dared to cover Jimmy Rollins' streak.) And so time-tested that only one guy (Rose) has gotten within two weeks of breaking it. Yet it still doesn't feel untouchable.

It's also 100 percent controversy-free (even though esteemed historian Pete Palmer says, correctly, that hitting streaks in general are "highly overrated"). And for sheer buzz factor, it's off the charts, because "it's something that builds, day after day after day," says ESPN's own streakmeister, Orel Hershiser. "Look at Jimmy Rollins and what he just went through. That daily buzz is pretty cool."

In a poll in which just about nobody agreed on anything, this was a runaway winner. So it's official. This is now the standard by which all records should be judged.

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