It had started back on May 15. In July, it was still going.
Joe DiMaggio’s hitting streak captured the nation’s attention and as it grew, fans sat on the edges of seats until it was extended, whether they were in the ballpark or listening to live radio broadcasts or sports reports. When it approached 50 game, attention and attendance grew.
This rare photograph, taken in early July of 1941, shows the Yankee Stadium crowd giving the Clipper a standing ovation as he heads for the dugout, apparently after another safety.
It’s our Vintage Photo of the Day and one of more than 1,200 images up for bid in the Fall Premier auction at RMYAuctions.com. Auction officials say the photo was recently uncovered in a newspaper archive.
Distributed by Acme News Service, the back of the photo is date stamped July 3, but was likely taken a day or two before that. The 6 ¾” x 9” image shows DiMaggio in his familiar number 5 heading for the third base dugout as he pushed his average closer to Ted Williams, the American League leader. Trouble was, Williams was in the midst of an historic season, too. Even at .375, DiMag was still 20 points behind Teddy Ballgame when the streak was stopped.
DiMaggio would hit in his 56th and final game on July 16 at League Park in Cleveland. The next day, a great play by Tribe third baseman Ken Keltner would rob him of a hit and the streak was over. Since then, no one has come close.
Bidding is underway through November 15.