Joe DiMaggio's 56-Game Streak Greatest Record in Sports History?
Over the course of sports history, there have been many great records, but which of these is the most impressive/unbreakable? Barry Bonds' 73 HR season? His 762 career dingers? Brett Favre's 442 TD passes? What about Wayne Gretzky scoring 894 career regular season goals?
All of these make great consideration for most unbreakable or most impressive, whatever you wish to call it.
One record that I feel never gets enough consideration for this "honor" would be Joe DiMaggio's 56-game hitting streak. When you look at the numbers, nobody else has ever come close.
The second best streak of all time is Willie Keeler who hit in 45 straight games in the 1896-97 seasons. Keeler is one of only six players to ever get over the 40-game mark, counting DiMaggio.
When you look at the other records, all seem as though they could be broken, even in the near future.
For instance, check out the career goals leaders in the NHL. The closest active player is Brendan Shanahan with 650 goals. Now when you look at that, you see that he's been playing since 1987 and is very unlikely to get to The Great One's level.
I don't feel that you should check the top of that list, but rather look at Sidney Crosby. He's just 20-years-old and has already scored 99 goals, averaging 33 per season. He's the most promising young rookie of this generation, and without his injury, which cost him 28+ games in '07, he could have easily been in the 110-115 range.
If you assume that he's not nearly at his career peak, I could easily see him in the 800 goal range, potentially 895 before his career is over.
When you look at Brett Favre's TD passes, take a peek at Tom Brady. Even though last year was easily his best season, he is keeping his receivers for next year, and has Moss locked up for three years.
He currently sits 245 TDs short of Favre with probably eight to ten seasons left, discounting any injuries. This means he would have to average 25-30 TD's for the rest of his career, which is exactly what he's done since he broke into the league.
Say what you want about Barry Bonds, but Alex Rodriguez is just 32-years-old and already has 528 HR's. If he can stay healthy, look for A-Rod to be sitting on 850 by the time he hangs up the cleats.
The thing that makes DiMaggio's record so much more elite than all others is the fact that guys just don't get that type of streak any more. If players get close they tend to get less hitable pitches and often get intentionally walked.
Whether this is because people feel that this record shouldn't be broken or that they just don't care to face a guy who's as hot as he would be, I don't know. But nobody's ever come close and it doesn't seem likely that anyone ever will.
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