DiMaggio adds to record in doubleheader

DiMaggio adds to record in doubleheader

CHICAGO, July 13, 1941 -- The biggest crowd in six years flocked to Comiskey Park, and the Sunday spectators were not only there to see the hometown White Sox play in a doubleheader. Many were there solely to see what Joe DiMaggio would do next.

The Yankees and their incomparable center fielder were in town, and DiMaggio's historic hitting streak was on the line in two games before 50,387 persons. Once again, he did not disappoint.

Joe DiMaggio's run to 56: Rewriting the record

Twice again, he did not disappoint.

By the time the Yankees had cleared out of the ballpark after notching their 14th consecutive victory by sweeping the White Sox by scores of 8 to 1 in Game 1 and 1 to 0 in the nightcap, DiMaggio had extended his record-breaking, now-unfathomable streak to 53 games, nine more than the previous Major League mark set by Wee Willie Keeler in 1897.

As baseball fans all over the country have awakened every morning and run to the newspaper stand to find out DiMaggio's daily exploits, the man just keeps hitting as if oblivious to all the hubbub.

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DiMaggio was facing a great pitcher in the first game in Ted Lyons, but Lyons was facing history. As has been the case so often in recent days of the streak, which is healthy and thriving in its seventh week, DiMaggio didn't waste much time in putting the game in the history books.

He led off the second inning with a sharp single, putting Game No. 52 to rest, and the Yankees exploded with six runs in the fourth inning, with DiMaggio singling again in that frame in the middle of it all. For good measure, he led off the ninth inning with another base hit, capping a 3-for-4 game that raised his season's batting average to .370.

In the second game, DiMaggio faced another formidable pitcher in Thornton Lee, and the Yankees didn't score any runs until scratching one out in the top of the 11th inning for a victory by the slimmest of margins. But none of that managed to stop the streak, either.

DiMaggio might have made the fans wait a while, but he delivered with a single in the sixth inning, running his total to 53 consecutive games and counting.

He ended up 1-for-4 in the second game, and the Yankees won it in the 11th, when Johnny Sturm led off with a double, Red Rolfe singled him to third, and Tommy Henrich finally got a run across the plate with a sacrifice fly. Red Ruffing, who had pitched a no-hitter for the first seven innings, completed his complete-game shutout by tossing a scoreless bottom of the 11th.

The Yankees' streak improved to 14 games, they have won 18 of their last 19 and 28 of their last 32, and they maintained their five-game lead over Cleveland in the AL standings.

And Joe DiMaggio keeps on hitting.

On May 15, 1941, Joe DiMaggio began his legendary 56-game hitting streak. In celebration of the 75th anniversary of that seemingly unbreakable record, we'll be doing a day-by-day account of the momentous feat.

Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @DougMillerMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.