Ranking the Most Unbreakable MLB Player Streaks and All-Time Consecutive Records

Gil Imber@RefereeOrganistAnalyst IINovember 11, 2011

Ranking the Most Unbreakable MLB Player Streaks and All-Time Consecutive Records

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    As MLB heads into its traditional offseason, its most ardent fans reflect on the year that has been, trade rumors and other personnel issues over the winter, and a persevering sense of hope and anticipation of a promising 2012 baseball season.

    Baseball is different than other sports—it is older and has a much richer history than both basketball and football.

    No sport is quite as intellectual as baseball.

    Baseball is a game of statistics, situations—sabermetrics.

    Baseball celebrates the miraculous achievements of its past while perpetually watching and awaiting the extraordinary feats of the present.

    While the NBA and NHL routinely play only half as many games as MLB—not in 2011-12, obviously—and the NFL plays nary one-tenth of the MLB schedule, it becomes apparent that baseball, unlike its professional brethren, relies on longevity, not temporary sparkle.

    Baseball is accordingly a sport of streaks, stretches and spells. It is a sport where an impressive one game performance is daunted by a tenacious achievement weeks, months or even years in the making.

    As baseball ventures into its offseason, it is time to reflect, review and remember the best of the best—MLB's all-time streaks and consecutive game records.

    The streaks are presented in descending order, with the most difficult streak to break at the end of the slide show and the easiest streak to break at the beginning. I use the term "easiest" for illustration purposes only. None of these streaks are "easy" to break.

    Records have been verified through Guinness World Records and Baseball-Almanac.

Honorable Mention: Vin Scully Longest Tenured Broadcaster

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    Record: 61 (62) seasons with the Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers franchise

    Vin Scully was the youngest regular broadcaster in baseball when he joined the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1950, at the ripe age of 23.

    At 25 years of age, Scully became the youngest person to ever broadcast a Fall Classic when he called the New York Yankees-Brooklyn Dodgers World Series in 1953.

    When the Dodgers moved to Los Angeles, so did Scully, who has been with the team ever since. Calling such incredible scenes as Sandy Koufax's perfect game in 1965, Hank Aaron's 715th home run in 1974, Bill Buckner's fateful error in the 1986 World Series and Kirk Gibson's walk-off homer in the 1988 World Series.

    Scully returns for his 62nd season with the Dodgers in 2012.

    By comparison, broadcaster Myron Cope holds the NFL's record, 35 years with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

    Hall of Fame: Yes

26. Lee Lacy and Del Unser: Consecutive Pinch-Hit at Bats with a Home Run

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    Record: Three Consecutive Pinch-Hit Appearances with a Home Run

    Life as a pinch-hitter is tough. You travel with the team, attend all practices and then sit on the bench during games. Sitting at night means it is usually cold and unpleasant.

    Then you get told to grab a bat and face a fresh reliever who is hurling 95-mph fastballs with pinpoint control.

    For Los Angeles Dodgers pinch hitter Lee Lacy and Philadelphia Phillies hitter Del Unser, the job came naturally during three consecutive pinch-hit appearances each.

    Lacy set the record first in 1978. He was called to pinch-hit for Los Angeles on May 2 and 6, blasting home runs in both appearances.

    Then came the 11-day delay, with Lacy finally returning to pinch-hit on May 17. Lacy's pinch-hit homer that night set a major league record, as the Dodgers beat the Pittsburgh Pirates, 10-1.

    Coincidentally, Lacy would be traded to the Pirates in 1979, where he would win his fist and only World Series championship.

    Hall of Fame: No

    Unser tied Lacy for the pinch-hit HR mark a year after Lacy's achievement and likewise won his first and only World Series with the Phillies one year after Lacy.

    Unser's three consecutive pinch-hits with a HR streak spanned from June 30-July 10, 1979.

    Hall of Fame: No

25. Ken Griffey, Jr., Don Mattingly, Dale Long: Consecutive Games with a HR

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    Record: Eight Consecutive Games with a Home Run

    This one is a three-way tie, eight consecutive games with at least one home run in each.

    This is the kind of record that a fan dreams about in the bottom of the ninth inning with their home team down by three and the bases loaded.

    Fortunately for ballplayers, this record credits the first inning solo shot as a HR just as a clutch walk-off grand slam.

    In 1956, Dale Long of the Pittsburgh Pirates became the first MLB player to hit home runs in eight consecutive games, a record which he held outright for 31 years.

    On July 8, 1987, Yankees first baseman Don Mattingly began his eight game HR streak to tie Long. Mattingly would hit a record 10 HR during his eight game streak and record an extra base hit in 10 consecutive games. During this breakout season, Mattingly also hit a MLB-record six grand slams, a feat matched by the Twins' Travis Hafner in 2006.

    In 1993, Ken Griffey, Jr. of Seattle Mariners fame tied Long and Mattingly with an eight game HR streak of his own. Griffey's streak ran from July 20 through July 28, which is the shortest span in which any player has hit eight home runs in eight games.

    Hall of Fame: No (for all three)

24. Barry Bonds and Alex Rodriguez: Consecutive Seasons with 30+ Home Runs

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    Record: 12 Consecutive 30+ Home Run Seasons

    When the San Francisco Giants received Barry Bonds from the Pittsburgh Pirates, they didn't know they were making a trade in the middle of Bonds' streak of 12 seasons with 30+ HR.

    Bonds started his streak in 1992, his last year with the Pittsburgh Pirates. From 1993 through 2004, he hit his 30+ HR in San Francisco orange and black.

    Through his career, Bonds racked up 14 All-Star selections, 12 Silver Sluggers, eight Gold Gloves, seven NL MVPs and three Hank Aaron Awards.

    His 762 career home runs, 73 single-season home runs, 2,558 career walks and 688 career intentional walks are all MLB records.

    Alex Rodriguez completed his 30+ HR streak on three different teams: the Seattle Mariners, Texas Rangers and New York Yankees.

    From 1998 through 2010, A-Rod consistently hit home runs and throughout his career, has additionally earned 14 All-Star selections, 10 Silver Sluggers, four Hank Aaron Awards, three AL MVP Awards and two Gold Glove awards.

    But the baseball world can be misleading. When Babe Ruth completed his home run streak, no one had even so much as heard of the phrase "performance enhancing drugs."

    When Bonds and A-Rod completed their streaks, however, both were accused of taking steroids and other illegitimate performance enhancing drugs.

    Hall of Fame: TBD (Both)

23. Cal Ripken, Jr.: Consecutive Games Played

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    Record: 2,632 Consecutive Games Played

    Record: 8,243 Consecutive Innings Played (non-pitcher)

    If baseball is a sport of longevity, Cal Ripken, Jr. must be the definition of baseball.

    Ripken set two MLB records which prove his durability: consecutive games played and consecutive innings played.

    From May 30, 1982 through Sept. 19, 1998, Ripken, Jr. played in every single Baltimore Orioles game. From 1982 through 1987, he additionally appeared in every single inning played by Baltimore.

    As a player, Ripken, Jr. was a real rarity, playing his entire 21-year MLB career for the Baltimore Orioles.

    During his storied career, he was a 19-time All-Star, eight-time Silver Slugger, two-time Gold Glover, and two-time MVP. He was also 1982's AL Rookie of the Year, won the World Series in 1983, won the Roberto Clemente and Lou Gehrig Memorial Awards in 1992 and had his No. 8 retired by the Orioles.

    Ripken compiled 3,184 hits, 431 HR and 1,695 RBI during his storied career, proving once and for all that endurance is All-Star worthy, even if he never led the league in home runs or batting average.

    Hall of Fame: Yes

22. Billy Hamilton: Consecutive Games Scoring a Run

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    Record: 24 Consecutive Games with a Run Scored

    Billy Hamilton was coming off an impressive 1893 campaign that ended with him winning the NL batting title when he stepped to the plate on July 6, 1894.

    He scored one run in that contest and set the stage for an improbable 24-game runs scored streak, finally completing his journey on Aug. 2.

    Hamilton is one of only five batters in baseball history to have hit both a leadoff and walk-off home run in the same game, the others being Vic Powers, Darin Erstad, Reed Johnson and Ian Kinsler.

    Hamilton was traded by the Philadelphia Phillies to the Boston Beaneaters in 1896, where he played five more years of baseball, joining the Beaneaters—which would become the Atlanta Braves—in winning two NL Pennants.

    Hall of Fame: Yes

21. Randy Johnson: Consecutive 300+ Strikeout Seasons

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    Record: Five Consecutive 300+ Strikeout Seasons

    At 6-foot 10-inches, 10 time All-Star pitcher Randy Johnson was a formidable competitor on the mound, absolutely dominating the opposition enroute to a 303-166 career record.

    During his steller 22 season career, the Big Unit won five total Cy Youngs, one Triple Crown and was named the World Series MVP during his team's 2001 World Series victory.

    Johnson pitched one no-hitter on June 2, 1990, followed 14 years later by his only perfect game on May 18, 2004.

    Johnson recorded his record five straight 300+ K seasons from 1998 through 2002, during which he played for the Seattle Mariners, Houston Astros and Arizona Diamondbacks.

    He is perhaps best known as a D'Backs legend, spending a total of seven years with the team he led to the 2001 World Series.

    Johnson is also known as the pitcher whose pitch struck and killed a dove during spring training in 2001.

    It is difficult to imagine Johnson not being selected to the Hall of Fame when his time comes. He retired in 2009.

    Hall of Fame: TBD (Not Yet Eligible)

20. Mark Buehrle: Consecutive Perfect Innings Pitched

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    Record: 15.0 Consecutive Perfect Innings Pitched

    Record: 45 Consecutive Batters Retired

    When Mark Buehrle made his MLB debut for the Chicago White Sox on July 16, 2000, he pitched just one inning and allowed one run.

    Since then, Buehrle has made the AL All-Star team four times, won the 2005 World Series, won three Gold Glove Awards and pitched a no-hitter in 2007, followed by a perfect game two years later.

    Like Cy Young in 1904, Buehrle hurled his perfect game in the middle of his impressive streak. From July 18 through July 28, 2009, Buehrle was perfect, allowing nary a baserunner.

    When Buehrle walked off the Chicago mound on September 26, 2011, he received a standing ovation from White Sox fans, clearly cementing his prominent place in White Sox history. Buehrle is a free agent going into the 2012 season and it is unclear whether he will return to the White Sox, the only team he has ever pitched for.

    Hall of Fame: TBD (Still Active)

19. Eric Gagne: Consecutive Saves Converted

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    Record: 84 Consecutive Saves Converted

    Record: 55 Single Season Saves in the National League (tied with John Smoltz)

    Record: Six Consecutive Team Games with a Save (tied with Rod Beck)

    Record: 10 Consecutive Batters Faced with a Strikeout (tied with Tom Seaver)

    "Bienvenue, Monsieur Gagne!"

    It's the rare four-fer for longtime Los Angeles Dodgers closer Eric Gagne.

    Gagne signed with Los Angeles in 1995, finally making it to the show in 1999. His MLB debut featured a stellar performance against the Florida Marlins, as Gagne struck out eight Fish over six innings of shutout baseball.

    When Gagne moved into the Dodgers bullpen in 2002, his stock rose dramatically. He earned 52 saves in 2002 and was named to the NL All-Star Team as a closer.

    In 2003, Gagne improved on his 2002 success, earning 55 saves to tie the then-NL record held by John Smoltz of the Atlanta Braves. 55 percent of Gagne's outs came via the strikeout during the 2003 season.

    Starting on Aug. 26, 2002 and ending July 5, 2004, Gagne recorded 84 consecutive saves, a major league record.

    He was so good with the Dodgers, he won the 2003 NL Cy Young Award, an honor usually reserved for starting pitchers. Over the course of his career, he was named to three All-Star Teams and won the NL Relief Man of the Year Award twice.

    In 1997, Gagne was linked to performance enhancing drugs in baseball's Mitchell Report on MLB drug use. His career ended in 2008 after a fledgling final few years, bouncing between the Dodgers, Texas Rangers, Boston Red Sox and Milwaukee Brewers.

    Hall of Fame: TBD

18. Mariano Rivera: Consecutive 30+ Save Seasons

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    Record: Nine Consecutive 30+ Save Seasons (Active)

    "Enter the Sandman"

    While Eric Gagne earned many saves over a relatively short period of time, Yankees closer Mariano Rivera has been the most consistent closer in Major League Baseball.

    Rivera stated his streak in 2003, so if you're doing the math, you'll realize his streak is still active.

    Rivera holds the record for most saves in MLB history, having surpassed Trevor Hoffman on September 19, 2011. He is also the first and only pitcher over the age of 40 to record a 40+ save season with 44 saves in 2011.

    Rivera is a 12-time All-Star, having been named to the team every season since 2008. He is a five-time World Series champion, a five-time Relief Man of the Year Award winner and the winner of the 1999 World Series MVP Award.

    He holds additional records in all-time postseason saves with 42 and most games finished with 883.

    He holds a career 1.00 WHIP, with a 2.21 ERA and 1,111 career strikeouts.

    Hall of Fame: TBD (Still Active)

17. Carl Hubbell: Consecutive Games Won

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    Record: 24 Consecutive Games Won

    Carl Hubbell's career began and ended playing for the New York Giants. He never played for another team from 1928 through 1943.

    Amassing a career 253-154 record with a 2.98 ERA and 1,677 strikeouts, Hubbell started his 24-game winning streak on July 18, 1936.

    By the time Hubbell's win streak came to an end in 1937, he had recorded 104 strikeouts and allowed 45 runs over 207.2 IP in 24 games for an ERA less than 2.00 during the streak.

    Hall of Fame: Yes

16. Lou Brock: Consecutive Seasons with 50+ Stolen Bases

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    Record: 12 Consecutive Seasons with 50+ Stolen Bases

    They must be putting something in the water up in St. Louis.

    From 1965 through 1976, Brock was the St. Louis Cardinals' left fielder and quickly became a baserunning star.

    Over the course of his legendary career, Brock was selected to six All-Star teams, won two World Series, won the 1967 Babe Ruth Award, the 1975 Roberto Clemente Award, the 1977 Lou Gehrig Memorial Award, the 1979 NL Comeback Player of the Year Award, and the 1979 Hutch Award.

    He finished his career with 3,023 hits, 900 RBI, 938 SB and had his No. 20 retired by the Cardinals.

    Hall of Fame: Yes

15. Ichiro Suzuki: Consecutive 200+ Hit Seasons

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    Record: 10 Consecutive 200+ Hit Seasons

    Proving that not every all-time streak is a gem of yesteryear, Seattle Mariners outfielder Ichiro Suzuki holds the outright record for most consecutive seasons with at least 200 hits.

    As the first Japanese position player to play in Major League Baseball, Ichiro impressed fans across the sport with his consistent hitting, fast running and precision fielding.

    During his 200+ hit streak, Ichiro made the AL All-Star team all 10 years, won a Gold Glove Award all ten years, won three Silver Sluggers and won the AL Batting Title twice.

    Ichiro enjoyed the rare distinction of being winning MVP, Rookie of the Year and being the stolen base champion all in the same year (2001).

    2011 was Ichiro's fist sub-200 hit season, in which he only had 184 hits. Ichiro broke the Mariners' all-time career hits record on April 2, 2011.

    Hall of Fame: TBD (Still Active)

14. Ray Grimes: Consecutive Games with an RBI

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    Record: 17 Consecutive Games with an RBI

    In case you're wondering, Grimes is the one on the right side of the picture. His son Oscar Ray Grimes, Jr. was also a ballplayer. Grimes, Jr. was an All-Star shortstop with the Cleveland Indians, New York Yankees and Philadelphia Athletics. 

    The twin brother of New York Giants second baseman Roy Grimes, Oscar "Ray" Grimes was a successful first baseman with the Chicago Cubs in 1922, when he achieved his RBI streak.

    From June 27 through July 23, 1922, Grimes had at least one RBI in every game he played. 

    Grimes was the lucky fellow who finished in second place for the NL batting title behind Roger Hornsby's .401 average in 1922.

    Hall of Fame: No

13. Cy Young: Consecutive Hitless Innings Pitched

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    Record: 25.1 Consecutive Innings Pitched without a Hit

    When baseball decided on a name for the league-specific award given to the year's best pitcher, they settled on the name Cy Young.

    Young played for five teams over 22 years from 1890 through 1911, with a career record of 511-316, a cumulative 2.63 ERA and 2,803 strikeouts. His 511 career wins is a professional baseball record, followed distantly by Walter Johnson's 417 wins.

    However, it was in 1904 when Young established the current MLB record for consecutive innings without giving up a hit.

    On April 25, 1904, Young began his improbable streak, going so far as to throw his only perfect game on May 5 to keep the streak alive. After not surrendering a hit to 76 straight batters, Young's streak came to an end on May 11, 1904, on a simple base hit.

    Hall of Fame: Yes

12. Jack Taylor: Consecutive Complete Games Thrown

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    Record: 39 Consecutive Complete Games

    Record: 202 Consecutive Games without being Relieved

    This is another two-fer, as turn of the 20th century pitcher Jack Taylor was a workhorse for the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals.

    In 1900, he began his record streak of 39 consecutive complete games, earning a 2.55 ERA in 1900, a 1.33 ERA in 1902 and a 2.45 ERA in 1903. Taylor's consecutive complete games streak came to an end in 1904, but only because Taylor was summoned as a relief pitcher for the Cardinals.

    In the long-forgotten days of baseball where pitchers routinely threw nine innings, sometimes on consecutive days, Taylor actually threw a record 187 consecutive complete games as a starting pitcher.

    Because relief appearances interrupt the streak, the Cardinals' use of Taylor as a reliever stopped his streak at 39 consecutive complete games.

    Fortunately, Taylor rarely stepped off the pitching mound after entering a game, contributing to his record of 202 consecutive games without being relieved.

    Taylor won the World Series with the Cubs in 1907 and compiled four 20-win seasons over his 10-year career.

    Hall of Fame: No

11. Joe Sewell: Consecutive Games Without a Strikeout

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    Record: 115 Consecutive Games without a Strikeout

    This is one of those streaks you have to see to believe. Unfortunately, baseball wasn't in the habit of televising its games when Joe Sewell played—in 1929.

    From May 17 through Sept. 19, 1929, Sewell improbably avoided the dreaded strikeout.

    Sewell was the Cleveland Indians' shortstop in 1929, known as a patient ballplayer who simply would not swing at nasty pitches out of the strike zone.

    It worked, for Sewell holds the MLB record for the lowest strikeout rate in baseball history, fanning only once every 62.6 at bats.

    Sewell allegedly played his entire career using the same bat, preserving the delicate wood by carefully applying chewing tobacco to keep it in proper working condition.

    Sewell won two World Series championships—as demonstrated by his photograph—one with the Cleveland Indians in 1920 and one with the New York Yankees in 1932.

    Hall of Fame: Yes

10. Vince Coleman: Consecutive Seasons with 100+ Stolen Bases

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    Record: Three Consecutive Seasons with 100+ Stolen Bases

    Record: 50 Consecutive Stolen Bases without Being Caught

    Seriously, what are they putting in the water up in St. Louis?

    This one is a two-fer. Baserunning guru Vince Coleman first stole over 100 bases in 1985. He followed up by doing it again 1986 and once more in 1987. He is the last player to have stolen 100 bases in a single MLB season.

    When he was done, he went on a 50 consecutive SB without being caught streak from September 18, 1988 to July 26, 1989.

    Coleman played as a left fielder for the St. Louis Cardinals during that stretch, earning the 1985 NL Rookie of the Year Award and amassing two NL All-Star selections in 1988 and 1989.

    Though his career floundered after his 1991 trade to the New York Mets, Coleman was a baserunning legend, stealing 752 bases over the course of his 13-year MLB career.

    Hall of Fame: No

9. Johnny Kling and Walt Dropo: Consecutive Plate Appearances with a Hit

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    Record: 12 Consecutive Plate Appearances with a Hit

    This record might be the most mathematically improbable of them all. Assuming that the average big leaguer hits exactly .300, that is a three out of ten chance of recording a hit during any given at bat.

    The probability that a big leaguer will record a hit during two consecutive at bats drops to nine percent—.300 x .300 = .090.

    To calculate the probability of recording a hit in 12 consecutive appearances, we take .300 to the 12th power. That comes out to a whopping 0.000000531, or a 0.0000531 percent chance of recording a hit in 12 consecutive appearances.

    Chicago Cubs catcher John Kling put together this impossible streak in 1902. It was the first time MLB had seen such a streak, though his accomplishment was not uncovered until 2009.

    Detroit Tigers first baseman Walt "Moose" Dropo tied Kling's mark in 1952, amassing a 12-plate streak of his own on July 14 and 15 of that year. Dropo's performance also tied an American League record of 16 hits in three games.

    For the Tigers, it was a promising start for Dropo's recovery with the organization after Dropo fractured his wrist in 1951.

    Hall of Fame: No (Both)

8. Casey Kotchman: Consecutive Fielding Chances Without an Error

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    Record: 2,379 Fielding Chances without an Error

    Defense.

    With all the hitting and pitching records being set, we sometimes forget about the gloves behind the flamethrowers.

    Fielders are key to recording just about every out in every game. The 1986 Boston Red Sox can tell you how devastating an error can be; sometimes that lonely No. 1 in the last column on the scoreboard can be the difference between a win and a loss.

    It is therefore outstanding that Casey Kotchman experienced 2,379 fielding chances without an error.

    During his remarkable streak which lasted from 2008 to 2010, Kotchman played for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Atlanta Braves, Boston Red Sox and Seattle Mariners, regularly producing defensive gems to increase his teams' chances of winning.

    The consecutive non-error fielding chances record is an undervalued achievement, but without solid defense, pitchers could never put up the sort of numbers we have come to know as legendary.

    Hall of Fame: TBD (Still Active)

7. Earl Averill and Piggy: Ward Consecutive Plate Appearances Reaching Base

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    Record: 17 Consecutive Plate Appearances Reaching Base

    When the Los Angeles Angels moved to Dodger Stadium in 1962, they compiled a record of 86-76, good enough for third in the American League behind the Minnesota Twins and New York Yankees.

    Coincidentally, Angels pitcher Bo Belinsky threw the first no-hitter in the history of Chavez Ravine as the Angels shut out the Baltimore Orioles, 5-0.

    In 1962, Earl Averill, Jr. was the Angels' starting catcher, playing in his second and final season with the club.

    He began his 17-game consecutive plate appearances reaching base streak on June 3, 1962, and concluded his streak during a doubleheader on June 10—reaching base in the first game, but not in the second.

    Hall of Fame: No, although his father is.

    Tied with Averill, Jr. at 17 games is Orioles-Reds outfielder Piggy Ward, who played for both teams in 1893.

    When Ward recorded his 17-game streak, he did it without the benefit of an error or fielder's choice, recording eight hits, eight walks and one hit-by-pitch from June 16 to June 19, 1893.

    As fate would have it, Ward was traded in the midst of his streak. He also holds the MLB record for reaching base eight times in a nine inning game.

    Hall of Fame: No

6. Babe Ruth: Consecutive Seasons with 40+ Home Runs

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    Record: Seven Consecutive Seasons with 40+ Home Runs

    Now is the time when this list starts featuring some of the best who ever played the game.

    No all-time greats list would be complete without a mention of George Herman "Babe" Ruth.

    The New York Yankees love the Babe. Because of him, the rival Boston Red Sox supposedly couldn't win a championship until 2004.

    Ruth began his consecutive 40+ HR streak in 1926, hitting at least 40 dingers through 1932.

    Ruth was a two-time All-Star, seven-time World Series champion and the 1923 AL MVP. The Yankees retired Ruth's No. 3 and MLB named him to their All-Century Team as well as their All-Time Team.

    Ruth's .690 career slugging percentage and 1.164 career on-base plus slugging percentage are both MLB records. His .342 career batting average is the 10th highest in baseball history and he still owns the Yankees record of highest seasonal batting average, hitting .393 in 1923.

    Hall of Fame: Yes

5. Christy Mathewson: Consecutive 20+ Win Seasons

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    Record: 12 Consecutive 20+ Win Seasons

    The New York Giants purchased pitcher Christy Mathewson's contract from minor league Norfolk for $1,500 in July of 1899.

    That move proved very worthwhile.

    Mathewson compiled his impressive 12 consecutive 20+ wins streak from 1903 through 1914, all with baseball's Giants franchise. During his streak, he won the 1905 World Series and won the NL Pitcher's Triple Crown in 1905 and 1908.

    He also won the ERA title five times and led the league in strikeouts five times over his legendary career. Pitching two no-hitters, Mathewson's 373 career wins is still a National League record, tied with Grover Cleveland Alexander.

    Mathewson was one of baseball's inaugural Hall of Fame inductees, joining Ty Cobb, Walter Johnson, Babe Ruth and Honus Wagner in 1936 as the first five to enter the Hall.

    Hall of Fame: Yes

4. Ty Cobb: Consecutive .300 Seasons

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    Record: 23 Consecutive Seasons Hitting .300 or Better

    There is no way anyone could complete a list about the greatest feats in baseball without mentioning Ty Cobb.

    To say Cobb was consistent is an understatement. He hit at least .300 every season from 1906 through 1928, his entire playing career with the Detroit Tigers and Philadelphia Athletics.

    Cobb debuted on Aug. 30, 1905, doubling off New York Highlanders 41-game winner Jack Chesbro in his very first at bat.

    Though he only won a single MVP Award, Cobb won 12 batting titles, batted over .400 three times, and batted over .320 a record 22 times.

    Though he never won a World Series, his batting average of .367 over 4,191 hits, 117 HR, and 1,939 RBI was good enough for inclusion on MLB's All Century Team.

    Hall of Fame: Yes

3. Orel Hershiser: Consecutive Scoreless Innings Streak

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    Record: 59 Consecutive Innings Pitched Without Allowing a Run

    When Orel Hershiser pitched his first full season with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1984, he recorded a 2.66 ERA and four shutouts.

    He improved on his marks in 1985, earning a 19-3 record with a 2.03 ERA and placing third in the NL Cy Young Award race. For those wondering, New York Mets hurler Dwight Gooden won the 1985 NL Cy Young Award with a Triple Crown-winning 24 wins, 268 strikeouts, and a 1.53 ERA.

    Hershiser finally did win his Cy Young Award in 1988, leading the league with 23 wins. More admirably, Hershiser put together an improbable 59 consecutive scoreless innings streak, a MLB record. Had Hershiser's NLCS performance been eligible for inclusion, he would have thrown 67 consecutive scoreless innings.

    When Hershiser recorded his final out of the regular season, he broke former Dodger Don Drysdale's record by just one-third of an inning.

    Still, Hershiser's 59 consecutive scoreless innings streak won't be broken any time soon.

    Honorable mention goes to Reds pitcher Arthur Rhodes, who maintained a scoreless streak of 33 games over 30 innings from April through June, 2010. Rhodes does hold the record for most games without allowing a run, tying former Colorado Rockies pitcher Mike Myers and former Mets pitcher Mark Guthrie.

    Hall of Fame: Yes

2. Ted Williams: Consecutive Games Reaching Base

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    Record: 84 Consecutive Games Reaching Base

    In Moneyball, Oakland A's GM Billy Beane and assistant Peter Brand discuss the value of players not by their batting average, but by their propensity to reach base any way possible.

    Likewise, there are fans out there that place far more value on Ted Williams' 84 consecutive games reaching base streak than on Joe DiMaggio's 56 game hitting streak.

    Williams started his 84-game OBP streak with the Boston Red Sox on July 1, 1949, eight years after DiMaggio's hitting streak.

    From July 1 through Sept. 27, Williams found a way—whether through hit, walk or hit-by-pitch—to reach base at least once every game.

    His improbable streak helped Williams hit .343, with 43 home runs and 159 runs batted in. Needless to say, he won the 1949 MVP Award and forever inspired the classic argument: Who was more impressive, DiMaggio or Williams?

    Hall of Fame: Yes

1. Joe DiMaggio: Consecutive Games with a Hit

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    Record: 56 Consecutive Games with a Hit

    Joe DiMaggio was a star in his own right, with a lifetime batting average of .325, 13 All-Star selections, three MVP Awards, and nine world championships with the New York Yankees.

    The Yankee Clipper entered the 1941 season determined to get the Bronx Bombers back to the World Series. The Yankees had won the Fall Classic from 1936-1939, missing out on the 1940s celebration.

    DiMaggio went one-for-four against the Chicago White Sox on May 15, 1941, starting the most improbable of offensive streaks.

    On July 1, 1941, DiMaggio tied Baltimore Orioles great Wee Willie Keeler with a 44 game hitting streak. The next day, he homered against the Boston Red Sox to extend his streak to 45 and set a new MLB record.

    DiMaggio continued to record at least one hit per game until July 17, when the Cleveland Indians finally shut him down.

    During his streak, DiMaggio batted .408, with 15 HR and 55 RBI.

    Always a tough ballplayer, DiMaggio began another 17 game hitting streak the very next day, setting another record in hitting safely in 73 of 74 games.

    Hall of Fame: Yes