Friday, June 3, 2016

Teammates with long hitting streaks in the same season

Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts just finished up a 26-game hitting streak going. His teammate, Boston outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. recently had a 29-game hitting streak. Two players on the same team each putting up a streak that long seemed liked a rarity, and while most people would have been content to leave it at that, I've never been one to back down from hours of research to answer a question few people are asking. It turns out my hunch was correct; since 1913 (the first season there are box scores for at Baseball-Reference), Bradley and Bogaerts are only the sixth pair of teammates to each have a hitting streak of 25+ games in the same season.

Teammates with hitting streaks of 25+ games in the same season (1913-present):

  • George Sisler (41 games) & Ken Williams (28), 1922 St. Louis Browns
  • Dale Alexander (29) & John Stone (26), 1930 Detroit Tigers
  • George McQuinn (34) & Mel Almada (29), 1938 St. Louis Browns
  • Shawn Green (29) & Shannon Stewart (26), 1999 Toronto Blue Jays
  • Luis Castillo (35) & Kevin Millar (25), 2002 Florida Marlins
  • Jackie Bradley Jr. (29) & Xander Bogaerts (26), 2016 Boston Red Sox

Sisler's 41-game streak is still the second-longest in American League history, behind only Joe DiMaggio's MLB record 56. Incredibly, Sisler and Williams' streaks both began on the exact same day, July 27, 1922. After the first three days of their streaks, Sisler missed six games, and then starting on August, both players hit safely in the team's next 19 games.

McQuinn and Almada's streaks, like Bradley and Bogaerts', partially overlapped, while the other three pairs' streaks came during different parts of the season. On August 1, 1999, when Green went 0 for 4 for Toronto, ending his 29-game streak, Stewart went 2 for 2, starting his 26-game streak.

Castillo and Millar are the only pair of teammates from a National League team to make the cut.

While only five teams have had teammates with hitting streaks of 25+ games, 29 of the 30 MLB teams have had someone with a streak that long at some point, with the only exception being the Tampa Bay Rays, whose longest ever streak, by Jason Bartlett in 2009, lasted 19 games.

The Red Sox have had the most hitting streaks of 25+ games, with Bradley and Bogaerts bringing the franchise total since 1913 to 15 of them. The team didn't have an especially high total during the 1900s, but of the American League's 18 streaks of 25+ games during the 2000s, an eye-popping eight of them belong to Boston, including Bradley and Johnny Damon's 29-game streaks, which are the AL's longest this century. The Dodgers lead all NL teams since 1913 with 11 hitting streaks lasting at least 25 games.

Those six pairs of hitting streaks mentioned near the top aren't the only times a team had two streaks of 25+ games in the season, they're just the only times two different players on a team have done it. Chuck Klein with the 1930 Phillies, and Heinie Manush with the 1933 Senators (now Twins) each had two hitting streaks of 25+ games during the same season.

Two such streaks in one season is very impressive, and Klein and Manush each also had a third streak like that during another season of their career, giving them three apiece. Sam Rice also had three different streaks of 25+ games, but the leader is the aforementioned George Sisler, who had four different hitting streaking of 25+ games in his career.

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