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Joe DiMaggio streak

DiMaggio's monumental hit streak ends at 56 games

Yankee Clipper's 8th-inning double-play grounder in final at-bat stuns enormous crowd in Cleveland
MLB.com

CLEVELAND, July 17, 1941 -- It began innocently enough, with a first-inning single off White Sox pitcher Eddie Smith on May 15 in Yankee Stadium.

It ended here, two months and two days later, in the eighth inning at Municipal Stadium on Thursday night.

CLEVELAND, July 17, 1941 -- It began innocently enough, with a first-inning single off White Sox pitcher Eddie Smith on May 15 in Yankee Stadium.

It ended here, two months and two days later, in the eighth inning at Municipal Stadium on Thursday night.

Joe DiMaggio grounded into a double play, shortstop to second to first, and when the last out had been made in the Yankees' 4-3 victory over the Indians, one of the greatest displays of hitting in baseball history had been squelched before a stunned, quieted crowd of 67,468 persons.

• Joe DiMaggio's run to 56: Rewriting the record

The Great DiMag went 0-for-3, sealing his Major League record of consecutive games with a hit at 56. It took 44 years for someone to break Wee Willie Keeler's previous mark of 44 set in 1897 with the Baltimore Orioles, and DiMaggio did it by 12 games. One wonders if this milestone will ever be matched.

Video: BOS@NYY: Broadcast on DiMaggio's 56-game hit streak

One also wonders what might have happened and how long the streak might have continued if not for the cruel glove of Indians third baseman Ken Keltner. In the first inning, while facing left-hander Al Smith, the sensational Yankees center fielder hit the second pitch he saw hard down the third-base line. It looked like a quick hit to get to 57 and relax for the rest of the evening.

But Keltner, playing deep, backhanded the grounder and threw DiMaggio out by a step.

Smith walked DiMaggio in his next plate appearance, which came in the fourth inning, and the crowd booed. They wanted to see the streak continue. They would leave the ballpark disappointed.

In the seventh inning, with the game tied, 1-1, Keltner got in the way of history again, backhanding another hard grounder down the third base line and throwing DiMaggio out for a second time.

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And in the eighth, with two more Yankees runs already in and New York holding a 4-1 lead, DiMaggio strode to the plate against relief pitcher Jim Bagby Jr. and grounded into the 6-4-3 double play that ended the inning.

There was outside hope, a lingering shred of a chance that Joltin' Joe would get one more chance to do what he had done for so long, particularly after Cleveland's Larry Rosenthal tripled in two runs in the bottom of the ninth to cut New York's advantage to 4-3. But Rosenthal stayed at third base when Yankees reliever Johnny Murphy retired the side, and the streak had finally come to a close.

The baseball world will now look back at these 56 games, from May 15 to July 16, 1941, as a piece of history, perhaps for eternity.

Video: Tom Verducci's essay on Joe Dimaggio's hit streak

Fans and historians of the game likely will recall the 30th game of the streak, which accounted for the Yankees' team record, on June 17 at Yankee Stadium. That's when DiMaggio's lone hit was a ground ball to White Sox shortstop Luke Appling that took a tricky hop and resulted in DiMaggio being safe at first base and safe from an error call because official scorer Dan Daniel ruled it a base hit.

There were low points along the way, such as Game 20 on June 3 in Detroit, when the Yankees played with heavy hearts because the night before they had learned of the death of their friend, former teammate and inspiration, Lou Gehrig.

There were moments where DiMaggio's genius with the bat reached the near-sublime, such as June 8 in Games 23 and 24 of the streak, when he keyed a double-header pummeling of the hapless St. Louis Browns in Sportsman's Park by hitting three home runs, driving in seven and scoring five.

Take June 29, a doubleheader in Washington and Games 41 and 42 of the streak, when DiMaggio tied and then exceeded George Sisler's 19-year-old American League record for hitting in consecutive games.

Or take July 2, Game 45 of the streak, when he homered off Red Sox right-hander Dick Newsome into the lower left-field stands of Yankee Stadium to break Keeler's big-league record.

In the course of the 56 games, DiMaggio not only captivated a baseball-crazy nation. He also dramatically improved his own statistics while powering his team to the top of the AL standings. Heading into the May 15 game, the Yankees slugger had a batting average of .306, and his club had a season's record of 14-14 and a 5 1/2-game deficit behind Cleveland in the standings.

But over the course of the next two months and two days' worth of ballgames, DiMaggio's 56 consecutive games with a hit yielded a streak's average of .408 with 15 home runs and 55 runs batted in, and the Yankees went 41-13-2 over that span. DiMaggio entered Thursday night batting .375 and leading the AL in home runs and RBIs. The Yankees exited Thursday's victory with a record of 56-27, good for a commanding seven-game lead over Cleveland.

The Yankees season continues even as the spectacular, famous, unforgettable Joe DiMaggio streak has died. There's only one thing left to do.

See if he starts another one.

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 did a day-by-day account of the momentous feat.

Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @DougMillerMLB.

New York Yankees

DiMaggio runs hit streak to 56 with banner day

MLB.com

CLEVELAND, July 16, 1941 -- The Yankees had a double agenda upon arriving in Cleveland for a crucial series against the Indians.

The first task on the list was for the incredible Joe DiMaggio to continue to dazzle baseball and its fans all over the country by hitting in his 56th consecutive game. The second? To put more distance between New York and the Indians in the American League standings.

CLEVELAND, July 16, 1941 -- The Yankees had a double agenda upon arriving in Cleveland for a crucial series against the Indians.

The first task on the list was for the incredible Joe DiMaggio to continue to dazzle baseball and its fans all over the country by hitting in his 56th consecutive game. The second? To put more distance between New York and the Indians in the American League standings.

Joe DiMaggio's run to 56: Rewriting the record

Both feats were accomplished Wednesday in what has become a season of historic, unforgettable achievement for New York's sensational, celebrated center fielder and his club. DiMaggio had a banner day at the plate to reach No. 56, and the Yankees steamrolled Cleveland in a 10 to 3 victory before 15,000 fans in League Park to prove, at least for now, that the visiting team is the one to catch in the AL in 1941.

DiMaggio hasn't been wasting much time lately in rewriting the course of baseball history, and he stuck to that made-for-Hollywood script on Wednesday.

Facing Cleveland pitcher Al Milnar with two outs and a runner on first base in the top of the first inning, DiMaggio hit the first pitch he saw into center field for a single. No. 56 was his, and by the time Joe Gordon and Buddy Rosar had added base hits, a 2 to 0 lead belonged to the Yankees.

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With hits in 56 consecutive games, DiMaggio is now 12 games better than the previous Major League record set by Wee Willie Keeler of the 1897 Baltimore Orioles. He has hit safely in every game for more than two months now, and the rest of his afternoon showed that he has not let the mounting pressure and press coverage he's been receiving for more than a month alter that picturesque, sound right-handed swing.

DiMaggio made it to the plate for the second time Wednesday in the top of the third inning with the Indians having tied the ballgame at 2 to 2, and again he singled to center off Milnar. That base hit didn't lead to any Yankees runs, and DiMaggio didn't strike in his next at-bat, which came in the seventh inning and which resulted in a walk. The Yankees were in the midst of a three-run frame that would extend their lead to 7 to 2 and effectively close the door on the Indians for the afternoon.

But DiMaggio wasn't quite finished.

After a leadoff groundout in the seventh that temporarily reminded baseball fans that he is indeed human and not every swing results in a hit, DiMaggio went back to his historic ways in his final plate appearance in the ninth.

DiMaggio hit a one-out double, keying a two-run inning that put the game away at 10 to 3. With three hits in four at-bats and three runs scored, the Great DiMag is now batting .375, a mere 20 points behind AL leader Ted Williams of the Boston Red Sox, and is leading the league in home runs and runs batted in.

Those numbers, of course, don't compare to the biggest one right now: 56.

And counting.

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.

New York Yankees

DiMaggio's historic streak hits 55 as Yanks win

MLB.com

CHICAGO, July 15, 1941 -- After a brief hiccup, the Yankees are right back to their winning ways. Joe DiMaggio, meanwhile, hasn't had any roadblocks in his way. He keeps on going.

New York beat the White Sox, 5 to 4, on a sweltering Tuesday afternoon at Comiskey Park, a day after being defeated for the first time in 15 games. But the most important news was the seemingly inevitable headline which every baseball fan in America has been waking up to recently.

CHICAGO, July 15, 1941 -- After a brief hiccup, the Yankees are right back to their winning ways. Joe DiMaggio, meanwhile, hasn't had any roadblocks in his way. He keeps on going.

New York beat the White Sox, 5 to 4, on a sweltering Tuesday afternoon at Comiskey Park, a day after being defeated for the first time in 15 games. But the most important news was the seemingly inevitable headline which every baseball fan in America has been waking up to recently.

• Joe DiMaggio's run to 56: Rewriting the record

Yes, the great DiMaggio's amazing streak continued, and when, if ever, will it end?

The Yankees' center fielder singled in the third inning and added a double in the ninth to extend the Major League-record hitting streak to an astounding 55 games.

Consider the calendar for a moment while realizing the significance of this bit of baseball lore: DiMaggio's spectacular string began with a modest single off White Sox pitcher Eddie Smith in the first inning of a game at Yankee Stadium that New York lost, 13 to 1, on May 15.

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That is exactly two months to this date -- two months of DiMaggio getting at least one base hit in every single game his Yankees have played.

The Yanks' celebrated center fielder got his first chance to continue his historic run when he strode to the batter's box in the first inning. He reached base on a run-scoring ground ball in play, but it was because of a fielding error on White Sox shortstop Luke Appling.

His next opportunity came in the top of the third, with the Yankees down, 2 to 1. Red Rolfe had singled to lead off the frame against Chicago pitcher Smith, and Tommy Henrich followed with a walk.

DiMaggio calmly took care of history and Chicago's lead in one swing, hitting a single to right field that scored Rolfe and pushed Henrich to third. The Yanks went on to add three more runs and take a 5 to 2 lead they wouldn't relinquish.

In the seventh inning, the crowd of 8,680 persons that had braved hot and humid conditions to see DiMaggio hit expressed its displeasure when the great Yankee was walked intentionally. But in the eighth, they got more of what they paid for when he doubled.

The conclusion was a familiar one: No. 5 had hit again, this time making it 55 consecutive games, a full 11 more than Wee Willie Keeler had strung together during his previous Major League-record streak of 44 in 1897.

The streak starts its third month on Wednesday, when the Yankees and their celebrity slugger venture to Cleveland to take on the Indians, whom the Yanks are leading in the American League standings by five games.

Once again, America will see how far DiMaggio can go.

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.

New York Yankees

DiMaggio hustles to further streak to 54 straight

MLB.com

CHICAGO, July 14, 1941 -- One streak came to an end. But the other one, the one to which every baseball fan in America has paid attention with growing fervor and enthusiasm ... that one -- yes, that one -- somehow continues.

Joe DiMaggio didn't blast a ball out of Comiskey Park on Monday. He didn't even hit one to the wall. The best the Yankees center fielder could do against the White Sox was beat out an infield single in the sixth inning. But that was good enough for DiMaggio to extend his incomprehensible hitting streak to 54 games, a full 10 more than the previous mark set by Wee Willie Keeler in the season of 1897.

CHICAGO, July 14, 1941 -- One streak came to an end. But the other one, the one to which every baseball fan in America has paid attention with growing fervor and enthusiasm ... that one -- yes, that one -- somehow continues.

Joe DiMaggio didn't blast a ball out of Comiskey Park on Monday. He didn't even hit one to the wall. The best the Yankees center fielder could do against the White Sox was beat out an infield single in the sixth inning. But that was good enough for DiMaggio to extend his incomprehensible hitting streak to 54 games, a full 10 more than the previous mark set by Wee Willie Keeler in the season of 1897.

• Joe DiMaggio's run to 56: Rewriting the record

DiMaggio's club lost for the first time in its past 15 games, looking uninspired in a 7 to 1 drubbing at the hands of Chicago, but the afternoon crowd of 8,025 seemed much more concerned with his historic exploits in the batter's box than any other events that transpired on the South Side diamond.

DiMaggio got his first opportunity in the top of the second inning, when he led off against White Sox pitcher Johnny Rigney, but he was held without a hit while reaching on a fielding error by Chicago second baseman Bill Knickerbocker on a broken-bat soft line drive.

DiMaggio's second at-bat came in the fourth inning, with his club down, 2 to 1, and he reached base once more but again without a hit, having drawn a walk … and the boos of the crowd that wanted to see Rigney challenge him with strikes.

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The boos continued in the Great DiMag's next at-bat, which came with two outs in the sixth inning, when Rigney pitched him to a 2 and 0 count.

But DiMaggio deemed the next offering good enough to take a swing at, and he chopped the ball right in front of home plate to the hot corner. By the time White Sox third baseman Bob Kennedy was able to glove it, DiMaggio was flying down the line with the certainty of an infield single for Game No. 54.

The success of the streak for yet another day made up for the fact that the Yanks looked uncharacteristically lifeless on the field for the first time in weeks, although they maintained their healthy five-game lead over the Cleveland Indians in the American League standings.

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.

New York Yankees

DiMaggio adds to record in doubleheader

MLB.com

CHICAGO, July 13, 1941 -- The biggest crowd in six years flocked to Comiskey Park, and the Sunday spectators were not only there to see the hometown White Sox play in a doubleheader. Many were there solely to see what Joe DiMaggio would do next.

The Yankees and their incomparable center fielder were in town, and DiMaggio's historic hitting streak was on the line in two games before 50,387 persons. Once again, he did not disappoint.

CHICAGO, July 13, 1941 -- The biggest crowd in six years flocked to Comiskey Park, and the Sunday spectators were not only there to see the hometown White Sox play in a doubleheader. Many were there solely to see what Joe DiMaggio would do next.

The Yankees and their incomparable center fielder were in town, and DiMaggio's historic hitting streak was on the line in two games before 50,387 persons. Once again, he did not disappoint.

Joe DiMaggio's run to 56: Rewriting the record

Twice again, he did not disappoint.

By the time the Yankees had cleared out of the ballpark after notching their 14th consecutive victory by sweeping the White Sox by scores of 8 to 1 in Game 1 and 1 to 0 in the nightcap, DiMaggio had extended his record-breaking, now-unfathomable streak to 53 games, nine more than the previous Major League mark set by Wee Willie Keeler in 1897.

As baseball fans all over the country have awakened every morning and run to the newspaper stand to find out DiMaggio's daily exploits, the man just keeps hitting as if oblivious to all the hubbub.

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DiMaggio was facing a great pitcher in the first game in Ted Lyons, but Lyons was facing history. As has been the case so often in recent days of the streak, which is healthy and thriving in its seventh week, DiMaggio didn't waste much time in putting the game in the history books.

He led off the second inning with a sharp single, putting Game No. 52 to rest, and the Yankees exploded with six runs in the fourth inning, with DiMaggio singling again in that frame in the middle of it all. For good measure, he led off the ninth inning with another base hit, capping a 3-for-4 game that raised his season's batting average to .370.

In the second game, DiMaggio faced another formidable pitcher in Thornton Lee, and the Yankees didn't score any runs until scratching one out in the top of the 11th inning for a victory by the slimmest of margins. But none of that managed to stop the streak, either.

DiMaggio might have made the fans wait a while, but he delivered with a single in the sixth inning, running his total to 53 consecutive games and counting.

He ended up 1-for-4 in the second game, and the Yankees won it in the 11th, when Johnny Sturm led off with a double, Red Rolfe singled him to third, and Tommy Henrich finally got a run across the plate with a sacrifice fly. Red Ruffing, who had pitched a no-hitter for the first seven innings, completed his complete-game shutout by tossing a scoreless bottom of the 11th.

The Yankees' streak improved to 14 games, they have won 18 of their last 19 and 28 of their last 32, and they maintained their five-game lead over Cleveland in the AL standings.

And Joe DiMaggio keeps on hitting.

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.

New York Yankees

In Yanks' big frame, DiMaggio secures streak

Two-bagger in 4th runs center fielder's record mark to 51 straight games
MLB.com

ST. LOUIS, July 12, 1941 -- Two weeks ago, St. Louis Browns pitcher Elden Auker came the closest of any American League pitcher to stopping Joe DiMaggio's amazing hitting streak.

On Saturday at Sportsman's Park, Auker had another chance to stifle the streak that has captivated baseball and all of America. Or maybe he never had a chance at all.

ST. LOUIS, July 12, 1941 -- Two weeks ago, St. Louis Browns pitcher Elden Auker came the closest of any American League pitcher to stopping Joe DiMaggio's amazing hitting streak.

On Saturday at Sportsman's Park, Auker had another chance to stifle the streak that has captivated baseball and all of America. Or maybe he never had a chance at all.

Joe DiMaggio's run to 56: Rewriting the record

DiMaggio doubled off Auker in a five-run fourth inning to extend his astonishing Major League-record streak to 51 games, and the Yankees had done enough to effectively seal a 7 to 5 victory over hapless St. Louis.

DiMaggio has put a week's worth of games with at least one base hit between his ever-widening mark and that of previous record-holder Wee Willie Keeler, who hit in 44 straight games in 1897. DiMaggio has had a hit in every ballgame that he has played since May 15, and the Yanks, who have won 12 games in a row to assume a commanding five-game lead over Cleveland in the AL standings, have not lost since June 27.

The 12 victories in succession matches the best winning streak by the Yankees since the 1939 club and is the longest in Major League Baseball this season. The Yanks have also won 16 of their past 17 and 26 of their past 30, and they have won 10 consecutive ballgames against these Browns.

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As for DiMaggio, he wasn't finished for the day after the two-bagger in the fourth. He also singled to center field in the fifth inning to raise his season's batting average to .365 and up his AL-leading RBI total to 74.

In other words, the great center fielder and his Yankees ballclub had a lot to be happy about as they packed their bags for their next trip to Chicago.

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.

New York Yankees

With 4-hit day, DiMaggio's streak reaches 50

MLB.com

ST. LOUIS, July 11, 1941 -- Joe DiMaggio has done it again. If only there were more people in the building to see it.

Rain in the forecast on a Friday afternoon and the fact that the hometown St. Louis Browns are having a season as dismal as the gray skies above Sportsman's Park brought a tiny crowd. Not even that bleakness could derail DiMaggio and his Yankees from their streaking ways.

ST. LOUIS, July 11, 1941 -- Joe DiMaggio has done it again. If only there were more people in the building to see it.

Rain in the forecast on a Friday afternoon and the fact that the hometown St. Louis Browns are having a season as dismal as the gray skies above Sportsman's Park brought a tiny crowd. Not even that bleakness could derail DiMaggio and his Yankees from their streaking ways.

DiMaggio ran his inconceivable, incomparable, incredible hitting streak to an even 50 games with four hits, including a home run, and the Yankees beat the lowly Browns, 6 to 2, in front of 1,625 persons.

Joe DiMaggio's run to 56: Rewriting the record

Not nearly enough spectators turned out to see a man who has become a force of nature with a baseball bat in his hands. He is now in his seventh week with at least one hit in every single game in which he has played. And on days like this one, he somehow still makes it look easy.

As has often been the case lately, DiMaggio didn't wait long to get on with the historic proceedings. After Tommy Henrich's home run gave New York a 2 to 0 lead in the first inning, DiMaggio stepped into the batter's box for his first at-bat of the day against St. Louis pitcher Bob Harris and promptly singled to center field to go from 49 games to 50. He is now six games better than Wee Willie Keeler's previous Major League record of 44 set in 1897.

The Browns scored two runs in the bottom of that frame to tie the game, but they would not score again. Meanwhile, DiMaggio was just getting warmed up. He singled to right field in the third and singled to left field in the fifth in his next two plate appearances.

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The Yankees took a 3 to 2 lead in the top of the sixth on a Joe Gordon homer, and in the seventh, DiMaggio proved that he doesn't only get the job done with the bat. With two out in the bottom of the frame, New York pitcher Marius Russo walked Browns center fielder Wally Judnich and the next batter, left fielder Roy Cullenbine, grounded a ball that went through Yanks third baseman Red Rolfe's legs for an error. The next hitter, St. Louis third baseman Harlond Clift, hit a blooper over the head of second baseman Gordon that looked like a hit that would give the Browns the lead. But DiMaggio stormed in from center field and made the inning-ending catch.

DiMaggio made his first out of the game later in that inning, grounding out to the pitcher, but he saved his most memorable trip to the plate for his last at-bat. With the Yankees enjoying a bit more breathing room after picking up an insurance run in the eighth inning, DiMaggio hit again in the ninth and launched a two-out, two-run home run, cementing another spectacular day of hitting.

In addition to the 50-game hitting streak, DiMaggio now has 20 homers and 73 runs batted in, both of which lead the American League, and his Yanks are now cruising at the top of the AL standings. They have won 11 consecutive games, 15 of their past 16 and 25 of their past 29. New York is four games ahead of second-place Cleveland.

Even diminutive shortstop Phil Rizzuto is getting in on the action. He went 1-for-4 and has hit in 14 consecutive games.

That puts him only 36 behind his famous teammate.

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.

New York Yankees

DiMaggio closing in on half-century mark

Yankees slugger extends streak to 49 games
MLB.com

ST. LOUIS, July 10, 1941 -- American League pitchers can't stop him. History can't stop him. And now, not even a four-day working vacation or game-delaying rainfall can stop Joe DiMaggio.

DiMaggio returned to regular-season action for his New York Yankees on Thursday in St. Louis, and any possible residual rust from the All-Star break didn't show, as the amazing center fielder's unprecedented hitting streak kept going in a 1 to 0 victory over the hapless Browns before 12,682 persons at Sportsman's Park.

ST. LOUIS, July 10, 1941 -- American League pitchers can't stop him. History can't stop him. And now, not even a four-day working vacation or game-delaying rainfall can stop Joe DiMaggio.

DiMaggio returned to regular-season action for his New York Yankees on Thursday in St. Louis, and any possible residual rust from the All-Star break didn't show, as the amazing center fielder's unprecedented hitting streak kept going in a 1 to 0 victory over the hapless Browns before 12,682 persons at Sportsman's Park.

Joe DiMaggio's run to 56: Rewriting the record

It took all of four batters for the streak, a Major League record that seems to want to go on forever, to reach 49 games. DiMaggio has now pulled away from Wee Willie Keeler's former record of 44 games, and is one from the half-century mark. DiMaggio last went hitless in a ballgame on May 14, when he went 0-for-3 in a 4-1 home loss to the Indians.

That was almost two months ago. Way back then, DiMaggio was slumping, the Yankees had a 14-14 record, were 5 1/2 games behind the Indians for first place in the AL standings, and were generating a bit of worry around the Bronx that this talent-laden club might not have the inner strength to live up to expectations.

Look at them now.

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Two days after DiMaggio doubled in the eighth inning of a dramatic Midsummer Classic that saw the AL defeat the National League by a score of 7 to 5 at Briggs Stadium in Detroit, he was back at it again in St. Louis, when it counted.

DiMaggio swung at the second pitch he saw and hit a hard grounder that St. Louis shortstop Alan Strange couldn't handle, and Game No. 49 was in the books. Joe Gordon hit a solo home run for the Yanks in the second inning, and Lefty Gomez made it hold up with five sterling innings before the game was called because of rain.

DiMaggio has his streak intact and the Yankees have theirs, with 10 consecutive victories, 14 wins in their last 15 games and 24 in their last 28.

On May 15, 1941, Joe DiMaggio began his legendary 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.

New York Yankees

DiMaggio's twin-bill showing: 6 hits; streak at 48

MLB.com

NEW YORK, July 6, 1941 -- The fans mobbed him by the end of a long, emotional and memorable day. And who could blame them?

Not only did Joe DiMaggio's history-making hitting streak continue through two more games against the Philadelphia Athletics on Sunday, but his New York Yankees kept piling up the wins on their march to what they hope will be an American League pennant.

NEW YORK, July 6, 1941 -- The fans mobbed him by the end of a long, emotional and memorable day. And who could blame them?

Not only did Joe DiMaggio's history-making hitting streak continue through two more games against the Philadelphia Athletics on Sunday, but his New York Yankees kept piling up the wins on their march to what they hope will be an American League pennant.

New York won the first game, 8 to 4, and the second game, 3 to 1. But the numbers the largest Yankee Stadium crowd of the season (60,948 persons) and the rest of the streak-crazy country were more concerned about were games 47 and 48 of DiMaggio's Major League-record streak.

Joe DiMaggio's run to 56: Rewriting the record

Before all that was settled, the Yankees engineered a somber remembrance, unveiling a monument in center field to the late New York legend, Lou Gehrig. As if inspired by the presence of his friend and former teammate, DiMaggio enjoyed quite a day on the diamond.

In the first game, the Yankees center fielder took away any suspense regarding the 47th game of the streak by singling to left field, scoring the first of four runs the Yanks would push across in the opening frame. DiMaggio added three more hits, including a second-inning single, a fifth-inning double and an eighth-inning single, and Bill Dickey and Red Rolfe hit home runs in the rout.

In the second game of the twin bill, DiMaggio once again didn't make his growing legion of streak supporters wait very long. In the first inning, after a Tommy Henrich single, DiMaggio got the Yankees on the board with a triple to center field. Just like that, he had hit in 48 straight games, and for good measure, he singled in his club's second run in the third inning.

The Yanks built a 3 to 0 lead and held on after giving up a run in the ninth inning, but DiMaggio's day at the plate was one to savor. He had six hits in nine total trips to the plate over the course of the two games and exited the stadium with a batting average of .357.

But it wasn't just his hitting that made the fans delirious. DiMaggio also had a banner day in the field, recording 10 putouts, including two running catches that had him retreating all the way to the general area of the new Gehrig monument some 450 feet from home plate.

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"DiMaggio is the greatest ballplayer in the game," Yankees manager Joe McCarthy told reporters after the games, and lately it's been very difficult to argue.

DiMaggio has hit in 48 consecutive games and doesn't seem to be slowing down, even though he'll have to now as he heads to Detroit to take part in the All-Star Game.

The Yanks have won nine games in a row and have 48 wins to 26 losses, their season's best record.

They're also 3 1/2 games ahead of the Cleveland Indians and right where they want to be: in first place in the American League standings.

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.

New York Yankees

With HR, DiMaggio ends bat drama, makes it 46 straight

MLB.com

NEW YORK, July 5, 1941 -- Joe DiMaggio got his bat back. Then he promptly extended his streak.

The Yankees center fielder was robbed of a bit of momentum and one of his baseball bats during two days without games, but he overcame the mounting pressure of his Major League-record hitting streak with a resounding first-at-bat home run on Saturday in a 10 to 5 victory over the Philadelphia Athletics.

NEW YORK, July 5, 1941 -- Joe DiMaggio got his bat back. Then he promptly extended his streak.

The Yankees center fielder was robbed of a bit of momentum and one of his baseball bats during two days without games, but he overcame the mounting pressure of his Major League-record hitting streak with a resounding first-at-bat home run on Saturday in a 10 to 5 victory over the Philadelphia Athletics.

Joe DiMaggio's run to 56: Rewriting the record

DiMaggio bested Wee Willie Keeler's mark of 45 consecutive games with a hit the last time the Yankees played a game on Wednesday afternoon, and the slugger spent a few days waiting to see if he would continue to forge ahead into history all by his lonesome, with Thursday his club's off-day and Friday an Independence Day rainout. Adding to that delay and the distractions was the fact that his bat was stolen for a small ransom fee, then returned to DiMaggio prior to Saturday's game.

But that was another story entirely -- one that DiMaggio didn't want to think about once the game started and he and his American League-leading team had a job to do.

The work began right away. After a one-out single by Red Rolfe and a Tommy Henrich foul popout, DiMaggio stepped into the batter's box against Athletics pitcher Phil Marchildon.

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The first pitch came and the first pitch went.

DiMaggio lined the ball into the left-field bullpen and waiting glove of bullpen catcher John Schhulte. Just like that, the Major League record for hitting in consecutive ballgames was at 46, DiMaggio had his 19th roundtripper of the season, and the Yankees had an early lead against a middling AL team.

The A's made it interesting, taking a 4 to 3 lead in the fourth inning, but the Yankees bats were too powerful on this day. Charlie Keller homered twice, Johnny Sturm hit one out and Rolfe added a long ball in an onslaught of offense that scored seven times in the last four frames to put it away.

The Yankees won their seventh game in a row and have prevailed in 11 of their last 12 and 21 of their last 25. They have a two-game lead over Cleveland in the AL standings.

And DiMaggio is still hitting. Every day.

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.

New York Yankees

DiMaggio sets hit streak record

Yankees' slugger has a hit in 45 consecutive games
MLB.com

NEW YORK, July 2, 1941 -- Leave it to Joe DiMaggio to make baseball history in the ultimate fashion.

The Yankees center fielder, in the midst of a season for the ages, might have made the fans at Yankee Stadium and the baseball-crazed country wait until the fifth inning of Wednesday's 8 to 4 victory over the Boston Red Sox, but he delivered an incredible Major League record with one powerful swing.

NEW YORK, July 2, 1941 -- Leave it to Joe DiMaggio to make baseball history in the ultimate fashion.

The Yankees center fielder, in the midst of a season for the ages, might have made the fans at Yankee Stadium and the baseball-crazed country wait until the fifth inning of Wednesday's 8 to 4 victory over the Boston Red Sox, but he delivered an incredible Major League record with one powerful swing.

• Joe DiMaggio's run to 56: Rewriting the record

DiMaggio's home run off Red Sox right-hander Dick Newsome, into the lower left field stands, gave him hits in 45 consecutive games. With that clout, his 18th round-tripper of the season, DiMaggio moved past Wee Willie Keeler's previous big league mark of 44 and into new, uncharted territory.

For six and a half weeks, since an innocent run-scoring single in the first inning of an otherwise dreary 13-1 loss to the Chicago White Sox on this very ballfield on May 15, a Yankees boxscore has included at least one hit off the blazing bat of DiMaggio.

Now DiMaggio has no one to chase except his own limitations, if there are any. Every game from this point on will provide the right-handed slugger a chance to make his mark even more difficult to equal as the games and the years go on.

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The weekday crowd of 8,682 was held in painstaking suspense for a little while thanks to some uncanny defensive work by Boston, but the fans would not go unrewarded for their patience.

DiMaggio hit a sharp line drive to right field in his first at-bat in the first inning, and Boston outfielder Stan Spence slightly misjudged the ball but leapt at the last second to make the catch. In the third inning, DiMaggio grounded hard down the third base line, but Boston's Jim Tabor made a deft back-handed stop and beat DiMaggio by a step at first with a crisp throw.

DiMaggio didn't get another chance to hit until the fifth inning, but he made the most of it. The at-bat started with Newsome throwing two straight balls, much to the chagrin of the spectators, who booed the pitcher. DiMaggio fouled off Newsome's third offering, but did not miss the fourth.

DiMaggio swung hard and launched a fly ball that soared high over Ted Williams' head and carried into the lower left field stands, some 400 feet from home plate. It was DiMaggio's 18th home run of the season, broke Keeler's record and keyed a six-run inning that effectively put the game away. The normally stoic center fielder smiled as he trotted around the bases and was congratulated as he stepped into a dugout full of teammates and coaches who knew well of the history that been made.

DiMaggio has now hit in 45 consecutive games, and in case anyone forgot to pay attention to the American League standings because of the magnitude of the streak, the Yankees finished off a three-game sweep of Boston, have won six games in a row, and are now in first place in the AL over Cleveland by three games.

As the Yankees hoisted DiMaggio on their backs in victory and slapped him on the back until he couldn't stand it anymore, their sights had to be set on greater things to come in what has already been a monumental 1941 season.

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.

New York Yankees

DiMaggio ties MLB record in doubleheader

MLB.com

NEW YORK, July 1, 1941 -- The biggest crowd of the year at Yankee Stadium turned up to see it. The fans packing the stands braved the stifling heat and humidity in the South Bronx to witness history.

Once again, they did not leave disappointed. Once again, as he has for the last 44 games, Joe DiMaggio would not let them go home without sharing a slice of baseball history.

NEW YORK, July 1, 1941 -- The biggest crowd of the year at Yankee Stadium turned up to see it. The fans packing the stands braved the stifling heat and humidity in the South Bronx to witness history.

Once again, they did not leave disappointed. Once again, as he has for the last 44 games, Joe DiMaggio would not let them go home without sharing a slice of baseball history.

Joe DiMaggio's run to 56: Rewriting the record

Yes, the famous streak that has captivated a nation is alive and well, and it is at a Major League-record-tying 44 games. The great Yankees center fielder hit safely in both games of a doubleheader Tuesday afternoon, of which New York won both games from the Boston Red Sox, by scores of 7 to 2 and 9 to 2.

DiMaggio needs only one hit in Wednesday's game against Boston to seize the record for himself and see how far he alone can take it.

But when the stands cleared late Tuesday after 53,832 persons watched more than four and a half hours of baseball, the only talk was of the grand feat that DiMaggio had accomplished after getting at least one hit in six weeks' worth of games.

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It overshadowed all, such as the good news in New York that the Yankees have won five games in a row, have their best record of the season at 44 wins and 26 losses, and are 2 1/2 games ahead of second-place Cleveland in the AL standings.

It also limited talk of the incredible year that Red Sox outfielder Ted Williams is having at the plate. Williams left the stadium with a season's batting average of .402.

As the first game began, all eyes were on DiMaggio, who had broken George Sisler's AL-record 41-game hitting streak in the previous day's doubleheader in Washington and was poised to increase his total to 43 to get within one game of Willie Keeler's 44-year-old mark.

DiMaggio didn't reward his onlookers right away, popping out foul of first base in the first inning and grounding out to third base in the third.

But the suspense came to an end in the fifth inning with the Yankees already enjoying a 4 to 0 lead and having knocked Boston pitcher Mickey Harris out of the game.

DiMaggio led off the fifth against Boston pitcher Mike Ryba and sent a slow ground ball to Red Sox third baseman Jim Tabor. By the time Tabor fielded the ball and threw to first base, DiMaggio had beat out the throw. The play was ruled a base hit and DiMaggio had run his formidable streak to 43 games.

As if to rule out any possible controversy, DiMaggio then lined a clean single to Williams in left field in the sixth inning, scoring a run to give the Yankees a 6 to 2 lead they wouldn't give up.

The second game, of course, brought the nerves of DiMaggio finally coming face to face with Keeler's mark. A hit would tie the Major League record of 44 straight games with a hit, and the Yankee slugger's first adversary was Red Sox pitcher Jack Wilson. But before any suspense could build, DiMaggio took care of history.

With two outs in the bottom of the first inning and Red Rolfe on second base, DiMaggio ripped a single to center field, scoring New York's first run in a three-run inning that would essentially win it the game right away.

DiMaggio had done it, tying Keeler's Major League record by hitting in 44 consecutive games, and when the game was called by umpire Eddie Rommel because of rain and darkness after the fifth inning, it was official.

One streak came to an end Tuesday, incidentally. The Yankees did not hit a home run, ending their Major League record of 25 consecutive games with at least one roundtripper, a string that began on May 31 and included 40 homers.

But nobody was talking about that streak. There is another one to discuss, and it's one game away from a true baseball legend.

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.

New York Yankees

DiMaggio passes Sisler for AL hit-streak record

Yankee Clipper hits safely in both games of doubleheader sweep of Senators
MLB.com

WASHINGTON, June 29, 1941 -- Joe DiMaggio sidled up cozily next to George Sisler on the same page of baseball's record book. Then he waved him goodbye and continued to use that potent bat to carve his own path toward Wee Willie Keeler, and perhaps immortality.

Sunday's doubleheader between the Yankees and Senators at Griffith Stadium was hot, humid and heavily anticipated. And by the time New York emerged from the long day of baseball close to triple-digit temperature, the club had won both games and DiMaggio had continued his astonishing -- and now American League-record -- hitting streak, pushing it to 42 games.

WASHINGTON, June 29, 1941 -- Joe DiMaggio sidled up cozily next to George Sisler on the same page of baseball's record book. Then he waved him goodbye and continued to use that potent bat to carve his own path toward Wee Willie Keeler, and perhaps immortality.

Sunday's doubleheader between the Yankees and Senators at Griffith Stadium was hot, humid and heavily anticipated. And by the time New York emerged from the long day of baseball close to triple-digit temperature, the club had won both games and DiMaggio had continued his astonishing -- and now American League-record -- hitting streak, pushing it to 42 games.

Joe DiMaggio's run to 56: Rewriting the record

The Yankees beat the lowly Senators by scores of 9 to 4 in the first game and 7 to 5 in the second, but the results of Sunday's games were not important to the boisterous assembled crowd of more than 30,000 when compared with the drama of whether DiMaggio would hit safely in each game.

The center fielder needed a hit in the first game of the twin bill to equal Sisler's AL-record streak of 41 games, set in 1922 while a member of the St. Louis Browns, and another in the second game to stand by himself in the annals of the AL while climbing to within two games of the Major League mark of 44, set by Keeler in 1897 while with the Baltimore Orioles.

The crowd knew it and knew it well, since the streak has been the main topic of the baseball world for weeks now, adorning the front pages of newspapers and leading off the news of the day on radio stations around the country.

On Sunday, the streak had reached a pinnacle of excitement. After weeks of hearing Sisler's name and wondering if DiMaggio could eventually become his match, the Yanks' center fielder and best hitter had the chance.

DiMaggio started the first game off slowly, flying out to center field to lead off the second inning and popping out foul of third base in the fourth. The Yankees had taken a 3 to 0 lead by the time DiMaggio arrived at the plate for his third at-bat, leading off the sixth inning against Senators knuckleballer Dutch Leonard.

DiMaggio ran Leonard to a count of 1 and 1 before swinging at a fastball and sending it cleanly into left-center field for a double. The crowd roared as camera operators scrambled to capture the event for motion pictures. DiMaggio had tied Sisler's AL record, and after he scored on a passed ball, batter Joe Gordon shook his hand at the plate while the rest of the Yanks emerged from the dugout to congratulate him.

But neither the day nor the DiMaggio drama was done.

In the second game, DiMaggio lofted a sacrifice fly to right field in the first inning against Senators pitcher Sid Hudson to give New York an early 2 to 0 lead. In his second at-bat, which came in the third inning, DiMaggio lined out to shortstop Cecil Travis. Red Anderson came in to pitch for Washington and faced DiMaggio in his next plate appearance in the fifth inning, which resulted in a flyout to shallow center.

By the time DiMaggio made it to the batter's box for his fourth at-bat of Sunday's second game, the Yankees had a 6 to 4 lead they wouldn't relinquish, but the moment all had been waiting for had not yet come to pass.

Anderson threw a high-and-inside fastball with his first pitch, and DiMaggio backed out of the way. On the 1 and 0 count, Anderson threw another fastball, but this one was over the plate, and DiMaggio quickly and decisively lined the ball into left field for the long-awaited record-breaking hit. Both teams applauded as the game stopped for a few minutes in recognition that DiMaggio alone held the AL record for consecutive games with at least one hit at 42.

DiMaggio, who does not show much emotion on the baseball diamond, smiled briefly and touched his cap to show the crowd that he appreciated its admiration.

The Yanks have a day off on Monday, but will return to the Bronx on Tuesday, the first day of July, for a doubleheader against the Boston Red Sox. If DiMaggio hits safely in both of those games, he will enter Wednesday with a share of Keeler's Major League mark of 44.

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.

New York Yankees

DiMaggio 1 shy of Sisler after foiling Babich's plan

MLB.com

PHILADELPHIA, June 28, 1941 -- Johnny Babich learned something about Joe DiMaggio on Saturday afternoon, and he learned it the hard way. The lesson taught by the sensational Yankees center fielder? Don't get me angry.

Despite the well-known plans by Philadelphia Athletics pitcher Babich to stop DiMaggio's amazing hitting streak in its tracks via the intentional walk if necessary, the New York slugger and his teammates ended up prevailing against all challenges in a 7 to 4 victory before 13,604 persons in Shibe Park.

PHILADELPHIA, June 28, 1941 -- Johnny Babich learned something about Joe DiMaggio on Saturday afternoon, and he learned it the hard way. The lesson taught by the sensational Yankees center fielder? Don't get me angry.

Despite the well-known plans by Philadelphia Athletics pitcher Babich to stop DiMaggio's amazing hitting streak in its tracks via the intentional walk if necessary, the New York slugger and his teammates ended up prevailing against all challenges in a 7 to 4 victory before 13,604 persons in Shibe Park.

Joe DiMaggio's run to 56: Rewriting the record

DiMaggio's celebrated streak has reached 40 games, and his next game with a hit will tie him with George Sisler of the 1922 St. Louis Browns for the American League record and leave him three from tying the Major League mark held by Willie Keeler, who did it for the 1897 Baltimore Orioles.

As has been the case every day of the streak in recent weeks as the newspapers and radio programs have followed every DiMaggio swing with increasing intensity, there was plenty of drama to behold heading into the stadium on Saturday.

Babich, an old acquaintance of DiMaggio from their days coming up in the professional game in Northern California, had made it public that he'd get DiMaggio out Saturday in his first plate appearance and then walk him every other time. The pitcher was certain the streak would end at 39 games.

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The plan looked to be working when DiMaggio just missed a hit foul in the first inning and subsequently popped out to shortstop Al Brancato, granting Babich the seamless first step to completion. And things seemed to be proceeding just as Babich had predicted in the third, when the hurler uncorked three pitches nowhere near the strike zone to run the count to 3 and 0 and almost ensure an intentional free pass.

Well, Babich didn't get that fourth pitch far enough away from the plate … or DiMaggio's bat.

DiMaggio displayed keen focus and maybe a helping or two of resentment as he reached out at the pitch, which was still off the plate. DiMaggio swung violently and connected, sending the ball right past Babich's face into center field. By the time the stunned Babich had realized it, DiMaggio, who had never stopped running, was standing on second base with a double and 40 consecutive games with a hit safely tucked away in the annals of baseball.

Next stop, Sisler. And it could happen in Sunday's doubleheader in Washington against the Senators.

And as for the Yankees, the victory put them back in a tie for first place in the AL after Cleveland's loss at home to the White Sox. New York also extended its Major League record of consecutive games with a home run to 23 when Charlie Keller hit a roundtripper in the seventh inning -- the Yanks' 36th homer in that 23-game span.

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.

New York Yankees

DiMaggio quick to hit in 39th straight, adds HR

MLB.com

PHILADELPHIA -- Joe DiMaggio did not waste much time creating more history on Friday afternoon. His awe-inspiring hitting streak continued, despite a loss by his Yankees team that might have hurt more on the field than it did in the standings.

The middling Philadelphia Athletics won it, 7 to 6, in the bottom of the ninth inning when Dick Siebert's one-out double to left field off Yankees reliever Norm Branch allowed Bob Johnson to scamper home with the telling run before a crowd of 8,107 at Shibe Park.

PHILADELPHIA -- Joe DiMaggio did not waste much time creating more history on Friday afternoon. His awe-inspiring hitting streak continued, despite a loss by his Yankees team that might have hurt more on the field than it did in the standings.

The middling Philadelphia Athletics won it, 7 to 6, in the bottom of the ninth inning when Dick Siebert's one-out double to left field off Yankees reliever Norm Branch allowed Bob Johnson to scamper home with the telling run before a crowd of 8,107 at Shibe Park.

Joe DiMaggio's run to 56: Rewriting the record

This came a half-inning after Yankees pinch-hitter Frenchy Bordagaray was knocked unconscious for a brief moment while scoring and absorbing a Benny McCoy relay throw to his head, and eight innings after New York catcher Buddy Rosar almost got into a fight with Philadelphia coach Earle Mack over a play at the plate.

But none of these events will be remembered, and for good reason. DiMaggio's hitting streak was extended to 39 games, and this is what everyone in the ballpark and most baseball fans around the United States have been caring about the most these days when it comes to the Yankees.

As it turned out, any suspense that might have followed DiMaggio into the ballpark was not held for long.

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DiMaggio strode to the plate in the top of the first inning with one out against A's pitcher Chubby Dean, who had walked Johnny Sturm and Tommy Henrich. DiMaggio swung at the first pitch he saw and lined a clean single to left field that gave him 39 consecutive games with at least one hit and got him closer to American League and Major League records.

DiMaggio's streak is now a mere two games from tying the AL mark of 41 set by George Sisler of the St. Louis Browns in 1922, and he's only five games away from matching Willie Keeler's Major League record of 44 set with the Baltimore Orioles in 1897.

The rest of the game seemed to be a letdown for those in attendance and certainly for the Yankees, who dropped one game behind Cleveland in the AL standings, although DiMaggio did add a monstrous home run, which was hit over the ballpark's left-field roof and traveled at least 450 feet, in the seventh inning.

New York has now hit at least one roundtripper in a Major League-record 22 consecutive games, clouting a total of 36 homers in that span.

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.

New York Yankees