Today in Tribe History: July 17, 1941
Bob Toth | On 17, Jul 2020
The Indians play spoilers in front of 67,468 fans at Cleveland Stadium as pitchers Al Smith and Jim Bagby Jr. end the 56-game hitting streak of New York Yankees slugger Joe DiMaggio. It would not be enough to get the win, however, as the Bronx Bombers claim the victory, 4-3.
Already with a 1-0 lead, DiMaggio grounded out to a diving Ken Keltner at third base in the first. The Tribe’s 24-year-old two-time All-Star made a strong throw to nail him at first. DiMaggio drew a walk in the fourth, but was stranded at first. The Indians tied the game in the bottom of the frame as outfielder Gee Walker hit an inside-the-park home run to left-center off of Lefty Gomez.
DiMaggio came to the plate again in the seventh and again grounded out to Keltner at third, who made another fantastic play with the glove and the arm to gun the outfielder out at first. With one last chance to extend the hitting streak in the top of the eighth with a 4-1 lead against new reliever Bagby (who had replaced Smith), Joltin’ Joe grounded to Lou Boudreau, who started the 6-4-3 double play with the bases loaded to end the inning with the Yankees holding a 4-1 lead. Cleveland would get a two-run triple with nobody out in the ninth, but would strand the tying run at first to end it.
The Yankees went 41-13 during DiMaggio’s hitting streak, not including a pair of ties. He hit .408 during the span with 16 doubles, four triples, 15 homers, and 55 RBI. The next day, DiMaggio would begin a new 16-game hitting streak.