If you are a baseball fan I’m sure you know that Joe DiMaggio holds the record for the longest hitting streak at 56 games. There were two higher. Everyone is probably aware the Mark McGwire and Barry Bonds are the only two player to hit 70 or more home runs in a season. Well there is a third.
Longest Hitting Streak
Few people know that in 1933 Joe DiMaggio set the Minor League hitting-streak record at 61 as a member of the San Francisco Seals. Even fewer people know that in 1919 Joe Wilhoit playing in the independent Western League had a 69 game hitting streak. However, this streak was never recognized by Minor League Baseball. Wilhoit posted the longest hitting streak in
baseball history at 69 games while playing for the Wichita Jobbers of the Western League. From June 14 to August 19, 1919, he went 153-for-297 for a .515 batting average to set the record streak. His hits included four home runs, nine triples and 24 doubles.
Most Home Runs in a Season
Of the hundreds of thousands who have played professional baseball down through the years, only three men have hit 70 or more home runs in one season: Mark McGwire with 70 in 1998, Joe Bauman with 72 in 1954, and Barry Bonds with 73 in 2001. McGwire and Bonds are among the game’s most celebrated
superstars, while Bauman lived in relative obscurity in Roswell, New Mexico. On September 5, 1954, Bauman, the slugging first baseman for the Roswell Rockets of the Class-C Longhorn League, shattered professional baseball’s single-season home run record by crushing his 70th round-tripper, and in so doing etched his name in stone as a true baseball immortal. Joe Willis Bauman was an first baseman who played primarily in the low minor leagues, including the American Association, the Eastern League, and the Southwestern League. He is best remembered for his time with the Roswell Rockets, for whom in 138 games in 1954, he hit 72 home runs, a record that stood throughout pro ball until it was topped in 2001.
In 1954, Bauman had an incredible year winning the Triple Crown and also leading the league in runs and walks for Roswell. His totals were very
impressive. In 138 games, he had 199 hits in 498 at bats for a .400 average. He hit 35 doubles, 3 triples, and 72 home runs (a home run every 6.9 at bats) – the latter, a professional baseball record that stood for years until Barry Bonds topped it in 2001. He also drove in 228 runs, and walked 150 times.
The Record History Almost Forgot
In 2007 Tiger’s Carlos Guillen had a run batted in (RBI) in his 11th consecutive game. It was believed that he was only two games away from the AmericanLeage record of 13 games held by Taft Wright, an outfielder for the Chicago White Sox and Mike Sweeney, who was with the Kansas City Royals at he time. Wright had an RBI in 13 consecutive games in 1941 and Sweeney had tied him in 1999.
However, in 2007, research on RBI streaks found that Tris Speaker had an RBI in 14 consectutive games in 1928. Speaker, a Hall-of-Famer, was playing for the Philadelphia Athletics in his final season. He only had 31 RBI all year and 19 of them came during the 14 game sreak.
Speaker’s streak had gone unnoticed for so many years due to the sloopy record-keeping that plagued the early years of baseball.
During the 1920s player statistics were kept on hand-written ledger sheets. Calculations and transcription errors were common back then, especially in pre-1930 American League.
It is because of one of those transcription errors that Speaker was erroneously credited with no RBI on May 28, 1928, despite the fact that he hit a two run home run in that game.
The RBI became an official statistic in 1920. So, many scores were still not used to scoring it accurately, and many batters had games in which they drove in runs, but had them left off their official ledger sheets by mistake.
Speaker’s 14 game RBI streak is also tied for the third longest in history, topped only by Ray Grimes’ major league record 17-game streak in 1922 and Mike Piazza’s 15-game run in 2000.