Joe Dimaggio's 56-game hitting streak has stood as one of sports' most fabled records for more than 70 years. But on Friday, baseball fans everywhere had a chance to eclipse the mark in a matter of hours by playing MLB.com's Beat the Streak in a Day.
By the time the final pitch had been thrown, the magic number still stood, as no one took home the $5.6 million prize. Still, the winner -- with a high score of 49 out of 57 -- took home $1,000 with a much higher score than last year's winning mark of 43. Fans can check the leaderboard at MLB.com.
The 2013 season will offer countless more chances for fans to knock off Dimaggio and in the process win the grand prize.
In MLB.com's traditional Beat the Streak game, participants try to establish a virtual "hitting streak" by picking one or two big leaguers per day, with their runs continuing as long as their selections collect at least one hit in their contests.
Beat the Streak in a Day used the same concept, except for one small fact: Fans made all 57 picks at once. The highest score for the day was 49 of 57 correct.
In 13-plus seasons of Beat the Streak, no one has matched Joe DiMaggio's magic number of 56, set in 1941. To win the game's $5.6 million grand prize, one must top Joe D.'s run by one. Whether someone can do so this season remains to be seen, but participating is fun and free. Not a bad deal, considering the millions of reasons to play and the potential for a life-changing payday.
AJ Cassavell is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.