Joe DiMaggio's Streak, Games 52 and 53: He Appears Unstoppable

JoeDiMaggio.comGuest ColumnistJuly 16, 2011

Joe DiMaggio
Joe DiMaggio

Games 52 and 53: July 13, 1941

With 50,387 fans watching, Joe DiMaggio made hitting look easy in the first game of a July 13, 1941 doubleheader with the White Sox.

It was the biggest crowd in six years at Comiskey Park. Team owner Charles Comiskey was known as tight with his money. Many believe it was Comiskey’s penchant for thrift that led to the Black Sox Scandal in the 1919 World Series.

You could see where Chicago saved money. His outfield had players named Moose and Taffy. Bleacher seats had seen better days. There wasn’t even a public-address system yet. A man with a megaphone roamed the foul lines announcing the hitters and booming the promotions, of which there were few.

But the White Sox still had decent pitching and, for this big day, cantankerous manager Jimmy Dykes saved both Thorton Lee and Ted Lyons in an effort to stop The Streak.

Nothing worked for Lyons in the first game as Joltin’ Joe lived up to the nickname. In an 8-1 first-game victory, DiMaggio had three hits, raising his average to .370.

In the second game, All-Star Thornton proved his pesky self, but the Yankees won 1-0 in the 11th. DiMaggio had, in mid-game, spanked a liner safely to left, putting his 53rd straight game with a hit in the record books.

The Yankees had won 14 straight. They were officially burying the rest of the American League and DiMaggio looked like he was heating up—again.

While the Chicago Tribune ran an editorial “DiMaggio as Seen From Mt. Olympus,” the chatter nationwide didn’t slow as the Yankee Clipper appeared at his peak. Manager Joe McCarthy told reporter after reporter, “Do you think anybody can stop Joe or The Streak? They haven’t so far.”

As baseball would find out, the days of DiMaggio’s perch near Olympus were numbered.