# Streaks of Gold

Paul Goldschmidt had the longest active hitting streak in the majors going when the regular season ended last year. His streak stood at 19 games in a row with at least one hit. In Australia, Goldy picked up right where he left off, getting not just one but two hits in each of the first two games of the 2014 season. That brings his on-going hit streak to 21 games. More numbers inspired these facts are after the jump.

The longest hitting streaks to end 2013:

1. 19 games, by Paul Goldschmidt

T2. 14 games , by John Jay and Josh Hamilton

T4. 11 games, by Daniel Murphy and Jarod Saltalamacchia

The longest hitting streaks for the Arizona Diamondbacks:

1. 30 games, by Luis Gonzalez (1999)

2. 24 games, by Tony Womack (2000)

T3. 21 games, by Paul Goldschmidt (2013-14, active) and Danny Bautista (2004)

5. 19 games, by Matt Williams

The longest start-of-season streaks of at least two hits (database goes back to 1914):

8 games, by Barry Larkin (1990)

7 games, by Hank Aaron (1959), Bob Allison (1960) and Rick Burleson (1983)

Willie Bloomquist tied a Diamondback record in 2013 by getting at least two hits in his first four games of the season. Those games didn’t occur until June, but he was batting .611 after those first four games last year. His batting average the rest of the way in 2013 was .273 (with a .632 OPS), but those first four games were enough to help his overall 2013 numbers look respectable. Willie’s back with the Mariners now. The Diamondbacks will just have to be content with Paul Goldschmidt for streak hitting.

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Rick Burleson’s had 16 hits in his first 7 games of 1983. From 1982 through 1985 Burleson only played in 51 games. In those years and outside of that streak: 25 hits in 44 games.

Recognize these players?

Generated 3/26/2014.

Those are the career lines for the only players to hit safely in each of the first 10 games of a career.

Glenn Williamsof the 2005 Twins hit safely in every one of his 13 career games. Alexander, Baldelli, Simons and Buzas are the only four to have their streak coincide with the first 10 games of the season.I recognize Joe Buzas. You mentioned his name a while back, identifying him as the Yankee with the longest streak to start a career as a Yankee. And Hank Arft is a name that is hard to forget. And of course we all recognize Alexander and Baldelli. Alexander is one of 9 players, who debuted after 1900, to have a career BA of .300 after each and every one of his ML games (500 PA min.).

Are these the nine players who were batting .300 after every game of their careers?

Generated 3/26/2014.

Yes it is. Tom Ruane of RetroSheet came up with the same results.

It was surprisingly simple to find these. The list was narrowed to 53 pretty quickly just looking at lifetime .300 hitters who also hit .300 after one season, after two seasons, etc. Nobody fell off the list after the first four seasons.

Then, a glance at the first season’s game log eliminated most of the 53. Only Doc Prothro fell off the pace during a second season, though Bob Fothergill came close with his lifetime BA dropping to .30068 after an 0 for 4 in career game 101 against Bob Shawkey and the Yanks. He went 1 for 2 against Waite Hoyt the next day, before being replaced mid-game by Heinie Manush. Then went 3 for 4 the day after that against the White Sox to establish some breathing room.

Glenn Williams is currently the hitting coach for the Sydney Blue Sox of the Australian Baseball League, a timely reference given where MBL opened its 2014 season. http://web.theabl.com.au/stats/stats.jsp?t=t_ros&cid=4069&stn=true&sid=t4069

Williams and Dale Alexander are tied at 13 games for the second longest hitting streak to start a career. The record holder is Chuck Aleno at 17 games, after which his slash was .389/.413/.472. For the remainder (106 PA) of his first season Aleno cooled off to a frigid .133/.198/.235, not far off the .172/.273/.219 he posted in 176 PA over his second and subsequent seasons.

Other recent season-spanning 20 game hit streaks.

Generated 3/26/2014.

Note that David Wright turned this trick in consecutive seasons.