Back on August 3, I began my improbable run at a hallowed American sports record - Joe DiMaggio's 56 game hit streak. Granted, my steak is a little different than Mr. DiMaggio's famous run back in 1941, but I'm shooting for that magic number all the same - 56.
No, I won't be taking my hacks against major league pitching. In fact, I won't be recording any hits at all during my run. The streak I'm talking about is the MaxBP blog - and I'm shooting for a blog everyday for 56 days and beyond. Without a doubt, such a streak isn't as impressive as DiMaggio's record setter; however, every streak comes with it's challenges and it takes focus and determination to persevere.
Back in the 1941 season, DiMaggio hit .408 (91-for-223) during the iconic run, in which he faced four Hall of Fame pitchers - Hal Newhouser, Lefty Grove, Bob Feller and Ted Lyons. The streak almost ended in the 35th game against St. Louis. DiMaggio was hitless when he batted in the seventh inning, and Browns manager Luke Sewell ordered Bob Muncrief to "walk him!" Muncrief refused, Sewell relented and DiMaggio singled.
The run was also interrupted by the MLB All Star game, an event in which Dimaggio went 1-for-4. The most disappointing thing about DiMaggio's streak was that he didn't extend it one more game. According to legend, if the record would have been extended to 57 games, DiMaggio was promised $10,000 to him by the Heinz Corporation to endorse their Heinz 57 products.
When the streak began the New York Yankees were 14-14 and trailed the Cleveland Indians by 5 1/2 games, but when the streak ended the Yankees were 55-27 with a 6 game lead over the Indians. When it was all said and done, DiMaggio was named American League MVP over Ted Williams - even though Williams batted .406 on the year, the last big league player to eclipse .400 in a season.
While I can only imagine the physical, mental and emotional challenges that DiMaggio must have endured during his respective streak, I can appreciate that every streak comes with it's trials and tribulations. During my own personal run of trying to write an article everyday, I have endured my own challenges, including: sickness, injury, family conflict and the loss of a loved one. My point is, there is never a perfect time to do something everyday for the better part of two months; however, if you set your mind on a goal - it can be done.
Since DiMaggio set the magic mark at 56 games more than 78 years ago, several Major League player have made impressive runs at the record. Pete Rose hit safely in 44 straight games in 1978, Paul Molitor ran a streak to 39 games in 1987, while Jimmy Rollins recorded a 38 game run in 2005-06. However, nobody has come within striking distance of DiMaggio's iconic record. And, ironically enough, that wasn't even the Yankee Clipper's longest professional hit streak! In 1933, DiMaggio hit safely in 61 consecutive games as a member of the San Francisco Seals of the Pacific Coast League.
Today marks 36 consecutive days that I have posted a blog on the MaxBP website - and if all goes as planned, I will reach the magical number 56 on September 27. Although my personal streak pales in comparison to that of DiMaggio - it's still something I've enjoyed and taken great pride in. I encourage others to start their own streak - whether it be a practice plan, workout regimen or a health kick - set your sights for the magic number 56 and beat the streak with MaxBP.