Most baseball fans are aware that Joe DiMaggio’s hitting streak of 56 consecutive games is the longest MLB hitting streak ever. But there are plenty of other players who have put together some of the best hitting streaks in MLB history.
There are even some who have at least come within shouting distance of meeting DiMaggio’s mark for the longest MLB hitting streak ever, not to mention the hitters who came before DiMaggio.
Longest MLB hitting streak
But who are the players with the most consecutive games with a hit other than the legendary DiMaggio? Let’s give the nine closest runners-up to the longest MLB hitting streak a little bit of credit as we count down the 10 longest hitting streaks in baseball history.
10. Gene DeMontreville, 36 games (1896-97)
While it happened well over a century ago, Gene DeMontreville still owns the 10th-longest hitting streak in baseball history. The weird thing is that it took baseball historians until 2007 to recognize that it happened.
Perhaps the problem was that DeMontreville ended the 1896 season with a 17-game hit streak and then began the 1897 season with hits in 19 straight games. Some may consider that two separate streaks, but when you put them together, DeMontreville had hits in 36 consecutive regular-season games.
9. Tommy Holmes, 37 games (1945)
During the 1945 season, Tommy Holmes put together a magical month during the middle part of the season. From June 6 to July 8, Holmes hit safely in 37 straight games. If you pay attention to the timeline, you’ll know that he got a hit in both games of a doubleheader on a few occasions.
Outside of DiMaggio’s streak, it was the longest hitting streak the big leagues had seen in over two decades.
8. Jimmy Rollins, 38 games (2005-06)
Jimmy Rollins owns the second-longest hitting streak that took place over the course of two seasons. In a way, that’s more impressive than hitting streaks that took place in just one season. Late in the 2005 season, Rollins took a more contact-oriented approach, which resulted in him getting a hit in the final 36 games of the season, batting .379 over that span.
The 2006 season began with Rollins getting hits in his first two games, creating a little bit of hype over the streak. However, Rollins didn’t have a strong first half that year, which is why the streak ended on the third game of the season.
7. Paul Molitor, 39 games (1987)
With over 3,300 career hits and a .306 career average, Paul Molitor is undoubtedly one of the best contact hitters of his generation. He didn’t quite get far enough to come close to challenging DiMaggio’s 56 games.
But Molitor does own the longest hit streak in the majors since 1980, so nobody has been able to top him in the last few decades. Keep in mind that by the late 80s, few players were starting 39 consecutive games much less getting a hit in all of them, which is why Molitor’s streak is so memorable.
6. Ty Cobb, 40 games (1911)
Plain and simple, Ty Cobb is one of the best pure hitters in baseball history. He had six separate hitting streaks of at least 20 games and remains the only player with two separate streaks of at least 35 games.
Of course, that includes the 40-game hit streak Cobb put together during the 1911 season. At the time, it was the third-longest streak in baseball history. Cobb would finish that season with a career-best .420 batting average, which came right in the middle of him winning nine consecutive batting titles.
5. George Sisler, 41 games (1922)
George Sisler caught a tough break during his hitting streak when he hurt his deltoid muscle. After collecting at least one hit in 39 straight games, he sat out for five days while receiving treatment on what many considered a season-ending injury.
Somehow, he got hits in his first two games back from the injury, surpassing Cobb’s mark of 40 games. However, Sisler’s injury played a role in stopping his streak at 41 games, although he would go on to win his second batting title that season on his way to a Hall of Fame career.
4. Bill Dahlen, 42 games (1894)
Like many of the players on our list, Bill Dahlen had a long and fruitful career in the majors. He racked up over 2,400 hits in his career. During the 1894 season, Dahlen put together a hit streak of 42 games.
At the time, it was the longest hit streak in MLB history, although as we’ll find out, that record only took for a few seasons. In addition to his abilities as a strong contact hitter, Dahlen was also one of the best defensive shortstops of his generation.
3. Pete Rose, 44 games (1978)
Pete Rose is well known for both his absence from the Hall of Fame and for being the MLB all-time record in hits, singles, games played, at-bats, and plate appearances. In that sense, it’s fitting that he came closer than most to having the longest MLB hitting streak in baseball history.
During the early part of his career, Rose collected a hit in 44 straight games, a stretch that spanned from June 14 to August 1 of the 1978 season. Despite falling a dozen games short of the all-time record, Rose was the first player to come anywhere close to challenging DiMaggio’s mark of 56 games.
2. Willie Keeler, 45 games, (1896-97)
For more than four decades, Willie Keeler was the owner of the longest MLB hitting streak ever seen. It actually started on the final day of the 1896 season. Keeler then opened the 1897 season with a hit in 44 straight games, breaking the previous record of 42 held by Bill Dahlen.
While some argue that the final hit in 1896 doesn’t count, whether it’s 44 or 45 games it’s an impressive feat by Keeler, who is one of the great forgotten hitters in MLB history. He was less than 100 hits short of 3,000 for his career while batting .341 in his career.
Naturally, he won the batting title after starting the 1897 campaign with a 44-game hitting streak. Keeler won the batting title again the following year, helping him to eventually end up in the Hall of Fame in his fourth year of eligibility.
1. Joe DiMaggio, 56 games (1941)
As mentioned, the longest MLB hitting streak belongs to Joe DiMaggio.
At the time, Keeler had a streak of 45 straight games with a hit, which was the high water mark. DiMaggio broke that record and then kept on going. By getting to 56 games, DiMaggio created a hitting streak that most believe is unbreakable.
From May 15 to July 16, every game he played ended with DiMaggio recording at least one hit. It was a two-month-long hot streak that saw DiMaggio collect 91 hits over 56 games in 223 at-bats, giving him an average of .408 during that stretch.
DiMaggio actually heated up late in the streak, batting .545 over the last 11 of the 56 games. Of those 91 hits, 15 were home runs, helping DiMaggio to amass 55 RBIs during the streak. Naturally, DiMaggio won the second of his three MVP awards that season, although he didn’t win the batting title that year. Nevertheless, he did lead the Yankees to a World Series title.