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Top five recent hitting streaks in baseball: Ethier closing in on elite territory
How does his hitting streak compare to other recent ones? Ethier is getting in elite territory if he can surpass 30 games in a row. Eight players since the turn of the new century have gotten a hit in more than 30 games in a row. No one has come close to Joe DiMaggio's record of 56 games in a row in 1941.
The longest streak over the past 10 years was Jimmy Rollins, who got a hit in 38 consecutive games for the Philadelphia Phillies over two seasons in 2005-2006. Rollins apparently is loyal—he still plays for the Phillies, who are currently doing very well thanks in part to his hitting ability.
Chase Utley also had a great hitting streak of 35 games in 2006. There must be something in the water in Pennsylvania because he plays for the Phillies, too. Add in Ryan Howard's(notes) power and it's no wonder the Phils have done great things the past five years in the NL East.
As a Cardinals fan, I love to talk about Albert Pujols. In just his third season in St. Louis, he had a hitting streak of 30 games in a row in 2003. That season was also his best batting average in a single year at .359 and he was a team leader. The only bummer about his performance was that the team didn't make the playoffs.
The Washington Nationals have had little to cheer about since they moved to D.C. But Ryan Zimmerman gave them a glimmer of hope in 2009 with a 30-game hit streak. His was the most recent hitting streak to go to 30 games or more in Major League Baseball.
Moises Alou, 2007
Moises Alou of the New York Mets had a 30-game hitting streak in 2007. It was sweeter that year as the Mets were riding high from their first NL East title since 1988. Despite Alou's help, the Mets lost 12 of their last 17 games of the season and missed the playoffs.
If the pattern holds up for all of Major League Baseball, fans will see either another long hitting streak sometime this year or another one in two years. Chances are the hitting streak will come from a team that doesn't make the playoffs. Either way, seeing an athlete keep up a streak like that is a thing of beauty for baseball fans no matter what city in which you live.
William Browning was born in St. Louis and is a lifelong St. Louis Cardinals fan. He currently resides in Branson, Mo.
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