The American League won yet another All-Star game last night in St. Louis, which stretched their current unbeaten streak to 14 seasons.
They are 13-0-1 over that span, with the only blemish being the absurd 7-7 tie witnessed in the 2002 game.
That mockery eventually created the current system in which most fans despise—regardless of what Commissioner Selig would like to believe.
The winning streak of the American League All-Stars made me begin to ponder the greatest streaks in New York Yankees history.
As a result, I have created a list of the five most profound examples of “going streaking” in the illustrious history of the franchise, and would love to hear your additions, subtractions, feelings, and critiques.
I will see you all at the end, and remember to cover up if you see any police officers approaching!
5. Don Mattingly’s Consecutive Game Home Run Streak
Over a span of eight magical games in 1987, Don Mattingly did not lace up his cleats without hitting one into the stands.
Blasting 10 home runs over the eight consecutive games, Mattingly further lodged himself into the hearts of the Yankees faithful—after already becoming the apple of their eye following an MVP trophy in 1985.
Making his achievement all the more incredible, Mattingly was forced to contend with the All-Star break falling in the middle of his power surge.
Any hitter will explain how much a change in rhythm can affect a hitter’s timing and groove, and a three-day layoff was sure to throw a wrench in Donnie Baseball’s plans.
Mattingly somehow maintained his stroke, launching two more home runs on the first day after the break on July 16—carrying the streak to its final day on July 18.
Though a man known more for his sweet swing and unmatchable defensive prowess, Mattingly once again proved that he had power to all fields and could not be underestimated.
4. Yankees Reach Postseason 13 Straight Seasons
Beginning with a momentum-building campaign cut short by a MLB strike in 1994, the Yankees made 13 straight playoff appearances from 1995-2007.
The Yankees reached six World Series during that time period under the command of Joe Torre and a still feisty George M. Steinbrenner III—winning four titles in five years from 1996-2000.
Former GM Gene Michael and Manager Buck Showalter constructed the championship roster from the ground up, and no man but Torre was better equipped to lead them to the Promised Land.
Lead by a blend of home-grown talent (Jorge Posada, Derek Jeter, Bernie Williams, Andy Pettitte, Ramiro Mendoza, and Mariano Rivera) and fearless veterans (Paul O’Neill, Scott Brosius, David Cone, Orlando Hernandez, and Tino Martinez), the Yankees became the personification of greatness.
The 1998 championship team, which won 125 total games, is still often considered the best in baseball history.
3. World Series Individual Game Win Streak
In a miraculous winning streak that eventually spanned four series, the Yankees won 14 consecutive World Series games from 1996-2000.
After originally falling behind 2-0 to the Atlanta Braves, New York won four straight games to capture their first World Series in 18 years.
Next came convincing sweeps in both 1998 and 1999 over the San Diego Padres and Atlanta Braves respectively—which stretched the improbable winning streak to 12.
Finally, on their way to capturing their third consecutive World Series title in the “Subway Series” of 2000, the Yankees won the series’ first two games before the Mets stole Game Three.
The streak may have ended at 14 consecutive games in 2000, but the accomplishment will live on for many more decades.
2. Consecutive World Series Titles Streak
From 1949-1953, the Yankees captured five straight World Series championships. They defeated the cross-city rival Brooklyn Dodgers three times, the New York Giants once, and the Philadelphia Phillies.
With Casey Stengel controlling the bench, the Yankees had the stability, professionalism, and complimentary talent later resurfacing with the Torre dynasty from 1996-2003.
No team before or after Stengel’s was able to win as many titles consecutively, and no time likely ever will. The Yankees were a special team lead by Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra, and Whitey Ford, and free agency and lack of loyalty prevents teams from maintaining an edge.
Fun Streaking Fact: Did you know that one of the original three New York teams (Dodgers, Giants, Yankees) made the World Series for 18 straight years from 1949-1966?
1. Joe DiMaggio’s 56 Consecutive Game Hitting Streak
As if the list could end in any other way?
Yankees CF legend Joe DiMaggio went without a hitless game from May 15 to July 16 during the 1941 season. It all began with one fateful swing off of White Sox pitcher Eddie Smith.
DiMaggio has yet to have another player approach within 12 games of his streak, and it is often debated if that day will ever come.
The number ‘56’ has become a symbol for all that was once right in the game that has since taken so many wrong turns.
It is one of the few records that is unaffected by the immense changes the game has undertaken over the last century—as opposed to those like Cy Young’s 511 wins.
Also “immune” to performance-enhancing drugs, DiMaggio’s streak is the perfect goal for any pure hitter to try to crack.