"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

June 1, 1941: Games 17 & 18

Playing their second doubleheader in three days, the Yankees continued their roadtrip by sweeping two games from the Cleveland Indians and moving to within a game and a half of the first place White Sox. DiMaggio had one single in each of the games to bring the streak to eighteen games. His hit in the second game came in his last at bat of the day. At this point, as a new paper each day seemed to pick up on the DiMaggio streak, he certainly must have been aware of what was at stake. He smashed a rocket that glanced off the glove of third baseman Ken Keltner. (The next time the Yankees came to Cleveland, DiMaggio would not be so lucky.) Elsewhere, Ted Williams was also continuing his torrid pace. He collected four hits in a doubleheader against the Tigers, raising his average to an obscene .430. His hitting streak was still intact a game beyond DiMaggio’s at nineteen straight, and he was even hotter than Joe D. Williams’s streak average was an even .500 (36 for 72) while DiMaggio was hitting a comparatively mild .362 (25 for 69).

Categories:  1940s  1: Featured  Hank Waddles  Yankees

Tags:  joe dimaggio  The Streak

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1 BobbyB   ~  Jun 1, 2012 1:58 pm

Its hard to imagine anyone batting .430 on June 1. While David Halberstam wrote a great book on the Summer of '49, (which I possess a copy inscribed to Bobby Brown-what was he thinking to get rid of it?) Has anyone written about 1941? I mean you've Dimaggio's streak and Williams being the last man to bat .400. Which do you think is the greater record now that both streaks are 60 years plus and going?

2 BobbyB   ~  Jun 1, 2012 2:05 pm

Forgot also about Williams 9th inning HR in the All Star game at Tiger's Brigg's Stadium and Lefty Grove's 300 career win (his last). DiMaggio won the MVP but I think that was probably controversial, even then. Would make a great story, Alex.

3 Hank Waddles   ~  Jun 1, 2012 9:54 pm

You might want to check out Streak, by Michael Seidel. He follows DiMaggio's streak, but also focuses on other goings on around baseball, notably Ted Williams. He pairs the baseball alongside news of what's going on with the war, which provides interesting. It's my main source for these posts. You're right, though. That whole season would make for great subject matter, with DiMaggio and Williams being the focus.

Williams lost the MVP, obviously, because no one liked him. Meanwhile, even as early as 1941, Joe D was Joe D. Williams, but you can excuse voters -- kind of -- for giving DiMaggio the MVP in '41. Fifty-six games is pretty impressive, after all.

Here are two things that are unforgivable. In 1942 Williams won the Triple Crown (.356/36/137), but lost the MVP to the Yankees' Joe Gordon (.322/18/103). In 1947 Williams (.343/32/114) won the Triple Crown -- again -- and lost again to DiMaggio (.315/20/97). WAR obviously didn't exist in 1947, but Williams crushed DiMaggio 9.6 to 4.5. Crazy.

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