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Sunday, April 09, 2006

Hitting streaks

Here in Delaware, a sporting suburb of Philadelphia, the recent big news has been the conclusion of the Phillies' Jimmy Rollins' consecutive game hitting streak. Rollins had hit in 36 straight to end the 2005 season and hit safely in his first two games this season before going hitless and stopping the streak at 38. Joe DiMaggio holds the major league record with 56 games.

I have not yet compiled daily total for every Delawarean so the list is not complete but at least three Delawareans have had hitting streaks of twenty games or more.

In May and June of 1997, John Mabry had a twenty game hitting streak. Mabry singled on May 19th against the Braves and had a hit in every game until June 10th against the San Diego Padres. During the streak he hit .418 (33 for 79). His best game came against the Colorado Rockies on June 3rd. Mabry went 3 for 4 with a three-run homer and six runs batted in.

From a June 28, 1993 game against the Pittsburgh Pirates until a July 22, 1993 game versus the San Diego Padres, Delino DeShields hit safely in 21 straight games as a member of the Montreal Expos. DeShields went 37 for 88 during the streak for a .420 batting average. Of DeShields 37 hits, 33 were singles. In addition to his hitting, DeShields was a terror on the basepaths, swiping ten steals during the streak.

The final hitting streak of twenty or more games by a native Delawarean was accomplished by Dave May of the Milwaukee Brewers. May's streak took place during an extraordinary July of 1973 where May hit safely in 28 of 30 games during the month. May had an eight game streak from June 26th through the first game of a July 3rd doubleheader. He went hitless in the second game and then started a 24 game streak against the Baltimore Orioles on the Fourth of July. His streak was ended in the final game of the month, the second game of a doubleheader against the Detroit Tigers.

May hit an even .400 (40 for 100) during his streak and was 51 for 127 (.402) during July. His 1973 season was one of the best ever by a native Delawarean. His 295 total bases led the league and is the most by a native Delawarean. His season marks of a .303 batting average, .473 slugging percentage, 156 games, 624 at bats, 189 hits and 93 runs batted in are all single season Delawarean records.


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