Mariners appreciate DiMaggio's hitting streak

Mariners appreciate DiMaggio's hitting streak

SEATTLE -- It's been 75 years since Joe DiMaggio set one of sport's most amazing records, a 56-game hitting streak that finally ended on July 17, 1941. Could it happen again and, if so, who's the most-likely candidate to do it?

"Oh geez," Mariners third baseman Kyle Seager said. "Jackie Bradley had a pretty good run this year, but he got halfway. You've got to think the guy that could do it would have to run a little bit. [Mike] Trout is probably the obvious one. He can kind of beat you at both ends. That's the easy way out. But that's a tough one. There's a reason that it hasn't been done for a while."

Seager's longest hitting streak is 16 games. He has the longest streak on the Mariners this season at 14 games. Teammate Robinson Cano, one of the most accomplished hitters in Major League Baseball the past decade, has never gotten past 23 games. Which is why Cano couldn't even come up with a name to nominate.

"You would have to be blessed and lucky," Cano said. "It's 56, not 20. You have to be able to get pitches every day. And when you're hot, there'd be pitchers that don't want to pitch to you. It's really hard. It's not like back in the days. It's not something I see myself or anybody else breaking. It could happen, but that's really hard."

56: Will the Streak be Broken?

Veteran catcher Chris Iannetta says the task has grown even tougher since DiMaggio's day with the advent of late-inning specialists and relievers throwing in the high 90s.

"I think of Trout, I think of [Jose] Altuve, guys like that," Iannetta said. "In this game today, you've got to have a ton of speed to even think about that. It's a six-inning game with some of the bullpens and you're going to need some infield hits and beat some things out, along with being a really good hitter. It's going to have to be a guy who can really do it all to have a chance, guys that can hit .300 and fly."

Mariners first-base coach Casey Candaele had an 18-year playing career in the pros and has been in the game for 34 years. He also picked the Astros' Altuve as the right kind of candidate.

"He can beat out infield hits, he's pretty consistent at the plate, his approach isn't overly complicated, he doesn't have a complex swing," Candaele said. "That's kind of what you're looking for. That'd be the guy I'd think, from what I've seen. Against us he might have a 56-game hitting streak already.

"It's hard to even consider," Candaele said. "People started talking about Bradley getting to DiMaggio's record and the guy was at 29. That's not even close. The hard part is handling all the mental stuff about it. If you're getting to 29 and it's on ESPN every night, that's difficult. So it would probably have to be a veteran guy that could handle that kind of pressure."

The closest anyone has gotten to DiMaggio since "The Streak" ended was 44 games by Pete Rose in 1978. Since the turn of the century, the longest streak is 38 games by Jimmy Rollins in 2005-06.

"It is one of the most incredible records in our sport," Mariners manager Scott Servais. "I don't think it'll ever be done again, just the way the pitching and matchups and the bullpens are nowadays versus maybe what they were back then. It was a phenomenal feat by obviously a tremendous player. If anybody ever gets close, our sport will go crazy because everybody realizes how hard it is."

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.