Joe DiMaggio hits in MLB-record 56th straight game, 79 years ago

Kurkjian reflects on the remarkable career of Joe DiMaggio (1:49)

Tim Kurkjian looks back at the amazing career of Joe DiMaggio, including his 56-game hitting streak and his friendship with Ted Williams. (1:49)

The start of the 2020 Major League Baseball season is nearly here, at last. But the regular season will only be 60 games long, which begs the question -- might it be possible for a player to get a hit in every single game?

Joe DiMaggio nearly reached 60 in a row. In fact, on this date -- July 16, 1941 -- the legendary Yankee extended his hitting streak to 56 games, going 3-for-5 against Cleveland.

The next day DiMaggio went 0-for-3 with a walk, which brought to an end what's still the longest hitting streak in MLB history. In fact, no one has even come close. Pete Rose reached 44 straight games in 1978. Willie Keeler is second on the all-time list, with 45 straight way back in 1896-97.

DiMaggio's streak is full of crazy numbers:

  • He hit .408 during the streak with 91 hits, 15 of which were home runs.

  • He faced four future Hall of Fame pitchers -- Lefty Grove, Hal Newhouser (twice), Bob Feller and Ted Lyons.

  • He only struck out five times.

  • He never once bunted.

The streak ended on July 17, 1941. After that he hit in 16 straight games, meaning he got hits in 72 of 73 games.

But maybe something special will happen in 2020? Regardless, no one will be quite like DiMaggio.