1941 – Joe DiMaggio’s record hitting streak finally ends

Joltin’ Joe DiMaggio was one of the all time greats of baseball, and no greater proof exists than his hitting streak record. From May 15 to July 16, 1941, he hit an unbroken streak of 56 games, a record that still stands. (The next highest hitting streak is 44 games in a single season, acheived by both Pete Rose and Willie Keeler – Keller also hit in the last game of his prior season too, giving him a 45 game streak overall.) Even after the end of the streak, DiMaggio hit another 17 game streak (and his record of hitting in 73 out of 74 games also remains unbroken).

DiMaggio’s team was the New York Yankees – who won the pennant in ten of the thirteen years that DiMaggio played for them. DiMaggio’s 1941 season was his last for some years – in 1942, he enlisted in the US Army, although he saw no combat, being assigned safely to a behind-the-lines role. His parents spent the war interned as supposed ‘enemy aliens’. DiMaggio would return to pro baseball in 1946, and played until 1951.

Referenced in:

Joltin’ Joe DiMaggio — Les Brown & His Orchestra

1983 – The Pine Tar Incident occurs

The Pine Tar Incident (also known as the Pine Tar Game) occurred during a game between the Kansas City Royals and New York Yankees on July 24, 1983 at Yankee Stadium in New York City.

After a home run was hit by George Brett of the Royals, the manager of the Yankees requested that the umpires take a closer look at Brett’s bat – and upon doing so, they determined that the bat had more pine tar on it than the rules allowed. They nullified Brett’s home run – and the run scored by the batsman on base from the same hit.

This would have been less controversial were it not for the fact that these two runs had put the Royals in front, and done so in the game’s ninth innings. As such, the Yankees won the game – although after a protest was lodged by the Royals, the game (from the point of Brett taking strike on) was replayed, with the Royals victorious.

Referenced in:

Pine Tar Wars — C.W. McCall