Boston Red Sox centerfielder Jackie Bradley, Jr. stood helplessly around the on deck circle as pinch hitter Mookie Betts grounded out to end the game, an 8-2 loss to the Colorado Rockies.
Had Betts reached, Bradley would have had a chance to extend his 29-game hitting streak. Oh well, c’est la vie! But a 29-game hitting streak is nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, Bradley is in some pretty good company. Five time AL batting champion and Hall of Famer Wade Boggs, who had his number 26 retired before last night’s game, compiled a 28-game hitting streak while with the Sox in 1985. (To give you an idea of how good Boggs was in 1985, he hit a career high .368 with a career high 240 hits.)
Alas, Joe DiMaggio’s 56-game hitting streak is safe. So too is Dominic DiMaggio’s. The younger DiMaggio had a hitting streak of his own in 1949 when he hit in 34 straight games. It remains the Red Sox team record. Two years later, DiMaggio would compile a 27-game hitting streak. Nicknamed The Little Professor due to his spectacles and his diminutive stature, DiMaggio enjoyed a solid 11-year big league career which was spent entirely with the Red Sox. DiMaggio had a lifetime batting average of .298, twice led the AL in runs scored and was named to seven AL All-Star Teams. Had DiMaggio not missed three seasons due to military service in WWII, perhaps he would have had a better shot at joining his brother in Cooperstown (he would only exceed 10% of the vote on Baseball Writers Association of America ballot once). DiMaggio passed in 2009 at the age of 92.
While Dom DiMaggio’s team record might be safe from Jackie Bradley, Jr., Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts might have something to say about the matter. Bogaerts singled in the first inning of last night’s game to extend his own hitting streak to 19 games. If Bogaerts falls short as Bradley did it is a testament to how difficult it is to hit a baseball safely day after day in the major leagues. So here’s to you Dom DiMaggio!!!
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