Game 32: June 19, 1941
Warning for the rest of the American League during the summer of 1941: Be afraid. Be very afraid.
On June 19, Joe DiMaggio started to get hot. Not that his new Yankee record 31-game hit streak wasn’t “hot,” in and of itself. But Joe had clubbed only one hit in each of the previous five games. The infield singles of the past two days were nothing to write home about.
This tidy, little 7-2 victory over the White Sox took only 1:45 to play. It was over quickly because the great DiMaggio made short work of Chicago starting pitcher Eddie Smith and staff on that Thursday afternoon.
DiMaggio homered, singled twice and walked in four trips. He drove in two runs, scored twice and made his usual contributions in the outfield—two fine, running catches and nailing a runner at third base.
Without radio and newspapers, No. 32 might have been a secret—only 9,609 were in attendance.
DiMaggio came into the game hitting .336 with New York in second place, three games behind Cleveland.
But DiMaggio was heating up. Never mind that he borrowed back a bat he had lent Tommy Henrich (Joe’s “favorite” bats were always being stolen). Never mind that every pitcher in the league was looking at stopping DiMaggio’s streak. Never mind that the focus of the national media joined New York newspapers in pursuing “everything Joe.”
DiMaggio—at least outwardly—didn’t allow the frenzy around The Streak to bother him.
Ten days hence, DiMaggio’s average would be pushing .360. The Yankees would be alone in first place, and George Sisler’s 41-game, AL-record hitting streak would literally be history.
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. Series Archive