NEW YORK — Sunday marked the 75th anniversary of when Joe DiMaggio started his 56-game hitting streak, a record many believe will stand forever.
White Sox manager Robin Ventura, who had a Division I record 58-game hitting streak at Oklahoma State in 1987, is in that camp. Today’s bullpens and media scrutiny are the reasons why, he said.
“I can’t even imagine that, getting within 10 of it,’’ Ventura said before his team played the Yankees at Yankee Stadium. “It’s just harder. If anyone watched the end of our game [Saturday] you see what’s possible.’’
That’s when the Yankees vaunted trio of Dellin Betances, Andrew Miller and Aroldis Chapman struck out eight of the 11 Sox batters they faced. Bullpens in DiMaggio’s day were weaker than even the worst pens of today.
“And a guy who’s going to have a hitting streak like that will have somebody waiting for them in the bullpen in case they come up in a situation that they can turn the game around with a swing or getting on,’’ Ventura said. “It would have to be the right guy, somebody who is fast that can kind of beat some in the ground and beat them out. But it’s just too hard now. There are too many arms coming out of the bullpen.’’
DiMaggio’s streak started on May 15, 1941 with a single against Sox left-hander Eddie Smith. That was before social media and today’s heavy conventional media coverage. Anyone chasing the Yankee Clipper today would have to answer daily questions about trying to get a hit, “which is what you’re trying to do anyway. It would be too much,’’ Ventura said.
Ventura would hear nothing of making comparisons with his streak to DiMaggio’s, strong bullpens or weak bullpens.
“College. College. College,’’ Ventura said. “Make sure you say that.’’