FanDuel - WFBC

October 07, 2007

56*?: Does Joe DiMaggio's streak deserve an asterisk?

posted by mr_crash_davis to baseball at 06:49 PM - 41 comments

In a word, NO!!!!!!!

posted by brickman at 09:09 PM on October 07

nope.

posted by jeffloeb at 09:25 PM on October 07

Haven't we beat the asterisk thing to death as bad as the PED topic. If you asterisk one record then you have to asterisk them all for one reason or another. See my other comment in the article about Mark Ecko and the Bonds ball from September of this year.

posted by jojomfd1 at 10:13 PM on October 07

This is just the bitter rantings of a delusional Bonds fan would be my guess.

posted by Drood at 11:47 PM on October 07

That has to be one of the most ignorant articles written by a Bonds apologist that I have ever seen. Has something change about the DiMaggio record since back in the 40's to make this story newsworthy? Is there some new information that would cause this story to come to the surface? No and No. So why was this record that was set over 65 years age suddenly a story on Oct. 7th 2007? *The only asterisk needs to go next to the article and not count it as a story.*

posted by Familyman at 06:20 AM on October 08

That was a neat article. So improbable, it should not yet have happened - I like that. I don't think there should be an asterisk, because why is it so awful to think that DiMaggio benefited from a few home calls? In games 30 and 31 he wasn't really near the record yet. But it was a good article.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 07:49 AM on October 08

I don't think there should be an asterisk, because why is it so awful to think that DiMaggio benefited from a few home calls? I agree that it's not improbable to think that maybe DiMaggio did in fact recieve a few homer calls but the history books state that he is still the owner of this record. To have at least one hit in 56 straight games is still something I don't think will be broken in quite some time but if there's one player that I think can break this record, my vote would have to go to Ichiro.

posted by BornIcon at 08:31 AM on October 08

If you asterisk one record then you have to asterisk them all for one reason or another. I think you just hit on the main point of the article. I liked the article, and it's amusing the see the reactions, which appear to take offense to an absurd suggestion, validate some of the writers points.

posted by eric_hodnefield at 12:13 PM on October 08

There is no clip of the fabled streak by the Yankee Clipper on YouTube to decide the matter, so it will never be conclusively settled. I think that pretty much sums up everything. No matter what truely happened, Joe was an exceptional player and hitter. He dosen't need this record to prove anything that he hasnt already proven. He might have been given some favorable calls, but that dosent make his record any less credible. (in my opinion)

posted by Kendall at 12:33 PM on October 08

I'm with weedy on this one. Neat article but I don't think he deserves an asterik. However, I do find it interesting how indignant some individuals are at the very suggestion. Is DiMaggio and his record so ingrained in the game that there can't even be a chance that it could be tainted?

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 02:39 PM on October 08

There were friendly score keepers in Joe DiMaggio's time. No, say it ain't so Joe. It's nice to know that the friendly score keepers of fifty years ago still exist today. An asterik? You've go to be kidding.

posted by BlindAlvin at 05:16 PM on October 08

I'll probably get pummeled for this but... I've never thought it was that interesting a record in the first place. I mean, it's a great achievement, but not sacred. A good hitter will get 200 hits in 162 games. Why is it so important if they come in games in a row? Pete Rose's all time hits record, though, that's impressive to me.

posted by drumdance at 05:25 PM on October 08

Pete Rose's all time hits record, though, that's impressive to me. Actually, this is much less impressive than DiMaggio's record. For the final 5 seasons as a player (which, coincidentally, are seasons that he was a player-manager), Rose was a below average hitter, and a significantly bad hitter for the position that he was playing (1B/OF). He simply kept playing himself in the field and sending himself up to bat just to rack up hits, even when it was VERY detrimental to the team. It would have been like allowing Neifi Perez to keep playing as a DH because he was in pursuit of a record. Derek Jeter has 2356 hits. He's exactly 1900 hits behind Pete Rose's record. At the pace Jeter is going, and even assuming that Jeter slows down a bit near the end, he'd pass Rose before his 45th birthday (which is how old Rose was when he stopped playing).

posted by grum@work at 06:30 PM on October 08

Would not the official score keeper for the Yankees only score at Yankee Stadium? No controversies on the road? No score keeper gave an error on a possible hit? Sorry, I don't buy the story. The real sacred record is Ripkins. DiMaggio's will be beat ....sometime. Ripkins will last possibly forever. Side note....Does anyone know the ratio of home games v road games for Dimaggio's streak? Possibly 50/50?

posted by scuubie at 07:19 PM on October 08

DiMaggio's will be beat ....sometime. Assuming baseball goes on for an infinite amount of time in its current incarnation, sure. Otherwise it's fairly unlikely. For a player who hits .333 over the course of the year, the odds of doing that are pretty slim.

posted by yerfatma at 08:40 PM on October 08

The streak is not so special to me its more of a fluke thing. Heck some guy could get 57 hits in a season and it could just happen to be 57 games in a row.....kind of like throwing 16 straight no hit innings but if nine of them aren't in the same game what do you have? (besides a good two game era) as that great old ball player Shakey Sphere once said...much ado about nothing

posted by shudacudawuda at 08:52 PM on October 08

Side note....Does anyone know the ratio of home games v road games for Dimaggio's streak? Possibly 50/50? May 15th to July 15th, 1941: 30 games at home, 26 on the road

posted by grum@work at 10:04 PM on October 08

Oh, but wait, if it ever does get broken we will really have to put an asterisk next to it. Joe did it in 139 games, less than the 162 games of today. I think you just hit on the main point of the article. That point has been beaten to death around here by some.

posted by jojomfd1 at 12:01 AM on October 09

It doesn't matter how long the season was. Getting a hit in 56 straight games is the same thing regardless of how long the season is.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 02:28 PM on October 09

For the final 5 seasons as a player (which, coincidentally, are seasons that he was a player-manager), Rose was a below average hitter, and a significantly bad hitter for the position that he was playing (1B/OF). Okay, I'll accept that. But if you back out the last five years that still puts him in the territory of Hank Aaron and Stan Musial. Perhaps Derek Jeter will catch them, and I'll respect that more than 56 straight games. Longevity matters in my book.

posted by drumdance at 03:35 PM on October 09

Like to ask question. 56 game hitting streak not impressive, what record does fellow blogger think is most durable or impressive?

posted by brickman at 05:12 PM on October 09

Longevity matters in my book. So you'd rather have a player who lasts 15-20 years in the league with one or two All Star appearances (if any) and an average career rather than someone who tears the league up for six or eight years? If I was as skilled as grum in stat-fu I'd pull up statistics for some players that fit those molds but alas, I'm not.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 06:16 PM on October 09

So you'd rather have a player who lasts 15-20 years in the league with one or two All Star appearances How many players* lasted 20 years with less than 3 All-Star appearances? You need to tease apart cause and effect before you start digging for stats. Junkball lefties don't count.

posted by yerfatma at 07:24 PM on October 09

Show me a guy who consistently bats around .300 year after year, and I'll show you an All Star. Hello Pete Rose. It's nice to know that at least one spot in your lineup will consistently get on base. It would be cool if he did it 56 straight games, but I'm more concerned with what he does over all 162 games, and year over year (which I'm sure is true of Derek Jeter fans too). Joe Dimaggio was a great player, but he probably could've done six ten-game streaks and not appreciably changed their won-loss record. And he would still make the All Star team.

posted by drumdance at 10:06 PM on October 09

If I was as skilled as grum in stat-fu I'd pull up statistics for some players that fit those molds but alas, I'm not. Technically, Ty Cobb never played in an All-Star game. Okay, so they weren't around back in his time... Batters of note:

  • Dwight Evans played 20 seasons, went to 3 All-Star games, played in both of them, but was never a starter.
  • Darrell Evans played 22 seasons, went to 2 All-Star games, played in both of them, but was never a starter.
The winner!: Bill Buckner played 22 seasons, went to 1 All-Star game, played in it, but wasn't the starter.

posted by grum@work at 10:06 PM on October 09

Good digging, but my point was not that longevity is the only thing that matters. Rather, that 56 games is a pretty short period against which to measure greatness, no? I'd rather have ten years of Bill Buckner's prime than 56 games of Dimaggio's streak.

posted by drumdance at 10:13 PM on October 09

You sir, are a crazy man. DiMaggio's streak is representative of his abilities as a baseball player. It's not just some random event. Look at his numbers (remember he was in the war), he's a pantheon Hall of Famer. Look at the players who have amassed the highest hit streaks in history - the only aberration is Benito Santiago. But the next two are your pal Pete Rose, and Paul Molitor. Those guys knew a thing or two about hitting. There's a reason for the success. That's a better track record than the list of guys who have thrown no hitters. And you'd rather have Joe freaking DiMaggio than Bill Buckner in their respective primes. Trust me.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 12:18 AM on October 10

No shit. When was the last time Buckner married the hottest starlet on the planet?

posted by The_Black_Hand at 04:12 AM on October 10

And with that nose.

posted by justgary at 04:42 AM on October 10

grum, I knew I was setting myself up as there had to be plenty of guys who played a long time with few appearances, but how many of those seasons did the Evans twins deserve to be in the ASG? ASG appearances is a fairly weak yardstick, like Gold Gloves.

posted by yerfatma at 07:19 AM on October 10

It doesn't matter how long the season was. Getting a hit in 56 straight games is the same thing regardless of how long the season is. That should've been the thought when Roger Maris hit 61 but Maris never lived long enough to see that he was in sole possession of that hallowed record, which is a shame.

posted by BornIcon at 08:29 AM on October 10

Wouldn't a season home record implicitly have to occur in a single season? Or am I making another assumption?

posted by yerfatma at 10:13 AM on October 10

And you'd rather have Joe freaking DiMaggio than Bill Buckner in their respective primes. Trust me. Of course I would. Read what I said: I'd rather have ten years of Bill Buckner's prime than 56 games of Dimaggio's streak. Yes, his streak is emblematic of success, but the point is, AS I SAID AT THE VERY BEGINNING, I don't care much for streak records like this. So if someone puts an asterisk on it, big whup. Ever hear of Jerome Walton? He's on the all time streak record list too, right there next to George Brett and Stan Musial. The only reason I know him is because he went to my high school. He was also rookie of the year in 1989, and that's the year he had his streak. I bet you don't care. Would you have traded Brett or Musial for Jerome Walton? Of course not. I'll bet the reason has something to do with consistency and longevity.

posted by drumdance at 11:41 AM on October 10

Would you have traded Brett or Musial for Jerome Walton? Of course not. I'll bet the reason has something to do with consistency and longevity. Yes, but I guess the larger issue is that if your point is that the streak is unimpressive because of it's essential meaninglessness, well then - um, fine. You're wrong, but it's a terrible argument to have. As far as career longevity and consistency are concerned, well, DiMaggio seems to qualify in a way that a Buckner can't. I'd rather have ten years of Bill Buckner's prime than 56 games of Dimaggio's streak. Okay, probably me too - but seriously, what an odd choice for comparison. But mostly your contention that a hit in 56 random games is as impactful as a hit in 56 straight games is, IMHO, not exactly well considered. Sure you could get a hit in 56 straight games and lose them all - but that's baseball (you could say the same for every record that isn't "wins"), and that's not the only measure of impact. Becuase it is impactful - from a math perspective (in terms of probability), from a historical perspective, from a cultural perspective, and certainly from a sporting/competition perspective - maybe not in a vaccuum, or possibly on Vulcan, but that's not where I live. Would you have traded Brett or Musial for Jerome Walton? Certainly not based on a damn 30 game hit streak. Dude - look at the list. With the exception of a few outliers, the higher points are still chalk a block with the games' greats. Finding a Jerome Walton and suggesting that his includion puts the whole list in question is totally, like, specious.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 03:28 PM on October 10

What makes it not just a statisical anomaly is the fact that DiMaggio had a 61-game hitting streak when he was in the Pacific Coast League (still the minor league record). He hit .408 during the 56-game streak, which isn't record breaking, but certainly enhances your chances over his career average sited above. And, as for asterisks, why in the hell is there still one on Maris' 61 home runs? Baseball needs to fix that.

posted by gradioc at 06:09 PM on October 10

And, as for asterisks, why in the hell is there still one on Maris' 61 home runs? Baseball needs to fix that. There is no "asterisk". There never was an "asterisk". The whole "asterisk" thing was made up by the media. It. Never. Happened. There used to be two records: Maris (most home runs in a 162-game schedule) and Ruth (most home runs in a 154-game schedule). Then they abandoned that and simply listed Maris by himself. At no time was there ever an "asterisk". That's what makes the whole Bonds-baseball-balloting thing so f*cking ridiculous.

posted by grum@work at 06:38 PM on October 10

grum, I knew I was setting myself up as there had to be plenty of guys who played a long time with few appearances, but how many of those seasons did the Evans twins deserve to be in the ASG? ASG appearances is a fairly weak yardstick, like Gold Gloves. Darrell Evans went to the All-Star game in 1973 and 1983. According to Win Shares, he was the third most valuable player in the NL in 1973 (behind Morgan and Stargell, tied with Bobby Bonds), and he was the seventh most valuable player in the NL in 1983 (behind Schmidt, D.Murphy, Guerrero, Cruz, Thon, Raines and tied with Dawson). Dwight Evans went to the All-Star game in 1978, 1981, and 1987. According to Win Shares, he was the 6th best player on his TEAM in 1978 (so way down the list in the AL overall), the second best player in the AL in 1981 (behind R.Henderson), and the 9th best player in the AL in 1987 (behind Boggs, Clemens, Trammell, Molitor, Yount, Puckett, Mattingly, McGwire and tied with Hrbek). Bill Buckner was an All-Star in 1981. According to Win Shares, he was EASILY the best player on the Cubs that year, but they stunk so his Win Shares total is somewhere around 35th overall in the NL.

posted by grum@work at 06:52 PM on October 10

Not quite what I was getting at: I meant the opposite, years when they were good players but didn't make the ASG. Dewey was on a heck of a team for 5/6ths of 1978.

posted by yerfatma at 07:02 PM on October 10

Like I said at the beginning: I'll probably get pummeled for this The context of this entire thread is that there is some question that Dimaggio might have gotten he benefit of the doubt on a couple of those hits. No one here actually addressed the substance of the article (unless you believe "NO!!!!" is an argument). If those two hits had been scored as errors, his streak would've stopped at 29, and suddenly Jerome Walton had a longer streak than Joltin' Joe. Unlike home runs, hits are subject to interpretation by the scorer (well, usually -- see Garret Atkins geting robbed of a HR in the one-game playoff against the Padres). Two hits in that streak could arguably have been called errors. That's part of the reason I don't think this is a big deal. It is without question that Dimaggio is one of the greatest hitters ever -- as measured by longevity and consistency, which is why I said those things count in my book. But some people here seem so emotionally invested in 56 games as the most important measure of his success that they can't even ponder what it means if he didn't have that record.

posted by drumdance at 12:14 PM on October 11

It doesn't matter how long the season was. Getting a hit in 56 straight games is the same thing regardless of how long the season is. posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 2:28 PM CDT on October 9 No shit sherlock, it's called sarcasm! Somebody wants to mark every new broken record with an asterisk due to this or that. It is getting old. I will have to agree with grum, but also take it a little further. All of this asterisk shit is getting Fu**ing ridiculous. There is two asterisk's for ya.

posted by jojomfd1 at 01:25 AM on October 12

That is the most absolutely ridiculous article i have ever read. Dimag earned his record, earned his hall of fame appearance, and earned the right to be remembered as a great ballplayer. Joe Dimaggio was a hell of a ballplayer and if anything that asterisk should note the fact that it is the greatest record around and probably unbreakable. Shame on Robbeson for every bringing that up! p.s.- mr. crash davis- you have officially pissed me off!

posted by Jzsteinm at 09:29 AM on October 25

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