Some streaks in baseball are iconic. Joe DiMaggio’s MLB record of hitting in 56 consecutive games for example. That streak started in mid-May of 1941 and continued through July 17th. Then there’s Cal Ripken Jr.’s consecutive games-played streak of 3,032. It took the Baltimore Oriole over 16 years to beat Lou Gehrig’s previous record.
Altuve’s TENTH CONSECUTIVE hit ties the game at 3!
— Houston Astros (@astros) May 27, 2018
There are other streaks, however, that don’t show up on our radar until somebody seems ready to challenge them. This is true of the MLB consecutive hits streak recently challenged by Houston’s Jose Altuve. The reigning Most Valuable Player in the American League put together a streak of 10 consecutive plate appearances where he achieved a hit. The streak was stopped at ten games when the Indians’ Rajai Davis robbed him of his 11th straight hit with a diving grab in the 9th inning of Sunday’s game at Progressive Field. If Davis doesn’t make the catch, Altuve would have been just a single hit away from setting a new MLB record. The record? A 12 consecutive hit streak that was set back in 1952 over the course of three games. The player who achieved the mark? Walt “Moose” Dropo of the Detroit Tigers. Dropo played some 13 seasons in the Major Leagues spending time with the Red Sox, Tigers, White Sox, the Redlegs and Orioles. The first-baseman’s nickname was appropriate given his 6’5” stature and 220 lb. weight. He was previously noted for leading the league in 1950 in runs batted in with 144.
Altuve’s brush with history is just another reason baseball is so much fun to follow. History can be made over the course of a career, a season or a weekend. It can even be made in a game or an at bat. If baseball needs anything, however, it needs more great nicknames. Like “Moose”.