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Joe DiMaggio's Hitting Streak, Game 2: A Homer, a Triple and Some Help

NEW YORK - JULY 19:  Former New York Yankees coach Don Zimmer talks with Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland during the teams 63rd Old Timers Day before the game against the Detroit Tigers on July 19, 2009 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
JoeDiMaggio.comGuest ColumnistMay 16, 2011

Reliving Joe DiMaggio's Streak, Game 2: May 16, 1941

New York Yankees manager Joe McCarthy was in a foul mood. His team had slipped a game under .500 in embarrassing fashion. That 13-1 loss to the Chicago White Sox the day before had been lackluster.

He needed to light a fire under his Bronx Bombers. In what would eventually be a 6-5 victory over Chicago on this day, he got his spark from two very different sources.

Sure, Joe DiMaggio could be counted on—his 2-for-4 outing included a mammoth homer to left and a ninth-inning triple that set the stage for the come-from-behind win.

But the Yankees were also catching lightning in a bottle from journeyman catcher Buddy Rosar.

The Buffalo native was a crowd favorite, but would toil in obscurity as he played behind eventual Hall of Famer Bill Dickey. However, six weeks into the season, Rosar was white-hot and McCarthy knew a guy hitting .488 needed to stay in the lineup.

In beating the Sox before another disappointing crowd—only 5,616 at Yankee Stadium—Rosar went 2-for-3, threw a runner out at second, doubled and scored.

Dickey—despite hitting .372—was again on the bench, playing late for defensive purposes.

This flicker of heart by the Yanks was the dose of medicine the doctor ordered. Still 6 1/2 games behind Cleveland, New York would begin its long climb back to the top.

JoeDiMaggio.com is the official and authorized Web site of Joe DiMaggio. During the 70th anniversary of DiMaggio's 56-game hitting streak, it is publishing “Reliving Joe DiMaggio’s Streak,” which follows the daily progress of Joltin' Joe in 1941.

Baseball card image: Baseball Reference Bullpen.

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