CHICAGO, June 12, 1941 -- Suddenly it seems that the Yankees and their center fielder cannot be stopped.The New York club and its best hitter, Joe DiMaggio, were stuck in the American League doldrums just a few weeks ago, but after a dramatic 3 to 2 win over the White
CHICAGO, June 12, 1941 -- Suddenly it seems that the Yankees and their center fielder cannot be stopped.
The New York club and its best hitter, Joe DiMaggio, were stuck in the American League doldrums just a few weeks ago, but after a dramatic 3 to 2 win over the White Sox at Comiskey Park on Thursday night before a crowd of 37,102 persons, they are heading back to the Bronx for a lengthy homestand with a serious head of steam.
DiMaggio, who had already singled in the fourth inning to extend his hitting streak to 26 games and climb within three games of the club record shared by Earle Combs (1931) and Roger Peckinpaugh (1919), hit a game-winning solo home run off Thornton Lee in the 10th inning.
• Joe DiMaggio's run to 56: Rewriting the record
The Yankees have now won five games in succession to move to 30 wins and 22 losses and stay within four games of first-place Cleveland.
With the score knotted at two runs apiece in the 10th, Lee retired Red Rolfe and Tommy Henrich on groundouts. But he did not retire DiMaggio, who hit a curveball into the stands to give New York the one-run lead that relief pitcher Johnny Murphy would protect in a scoreless bottom of the inning.
The win was worth the extra day's wait after rain washed out Wednesday's scheduled proceedings, and the night game brought about a lively crowd. They were treated to a taut ballgame with clever pitching by Lee and Spud Chandler of the Yankees.
The White Sox took a 1 to 0 lead in the second inning on a run-scoring single by Lee and improved it to 2 to 0 in the fifth on a Dario Lodigiani double.
• Follow @TheStreak
Lodigiani, who had already been robbed of a two-base hit by DiMaggio on a running catch in the alley in the third inning, was flummoxed by the Yankees center fielder again in the fifth, thrown out at home plate trying to score on a subsequent Luke Appling single.
Joe Gordon's home run in the sixth inning cut Chicago's lead to one, and Red Ruffing tied the game on a run-scoring, pinch-hit double in the ninth that set the stage for DiMaggio's huge homer.
In addition to inching ever closer to the Yankees record for longest hitting streak, DiMaggio now has the great George Sisler in his sights. Sisler, of course, holds the modern record of a 41-game hitting streak, set in 1922 for the St. Louis Browns.
On May 15, 1941, Joe DiMaggio began his legendary 56-game hitting streak. In celebration of the 75th anniversary of that seemingly unbreakable record, we'll be doing a day-by-day account of the momentous feat.
Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @DougMillerMLB.