June 12, 1941 - Game 26
September 1, 2013

Rain poured all day on June 11, and Joe DiMaggio’s shot at No. 26 in a row would have to wait a day.

Ball players could think of worse things than an idle 24 hours in Chicago. They knew all the great restaurants, movie houses, museums and diversions better left not reported back home.
The White Sox were licking their chops about the game on June 12. Well, at least owner Charlie Comiskey was, because ticket sales were brisk for the night game.

Yankee Spud Chandler would face Sox ace Thornton Lee. Lee came into the game 7-3 on the year with an earned run average bobbing barely above 2.00. The crafty lefty would go on to win 22 games in 1941.

That night would not be one of them.

Chicago took a 1-0 lead in the second before DiMaggio singled sharply in the fourth inning. The Streak—now at 26 games—would follow Joe home! The 37,102 in attendance were delighted. Most had seen what they came for. But as an aside, those at Comiskey Park were treated to a helluva ball game.

While Dario Lodigiani couldn’t stop DiMaggio two days earlier, on several occasions the Yankee Clipper denied his friend on this night. Perfectly positioned as he always was, DiMaggio made a smart running catch in the alley that took a double away from Lodigiani in the third. Then, in the fifth, Joe threw Dario out at the plate when he tried to score from second on Luke Appling’s single.

At one point, New York trailed 2-0. Lee was on his game.

Finally, Joe Gordon’s homer brought the Yanks close in the sixth, before Red Ruffing’s pinch-hit double tied the game by scoring Gordon in the ninth.

Then came the 10th. What more could DiMaggio do for his team, for the fans?


Five times, starter Lee had pitched into extra innings in his career. He would have to face DiMaggio in the 10th. Pressure off? Hardly. The Streak intact, now the game was on the line. If Chicago dropped this one, it would fall six games off the pace and start to lose track of New York. Cleveland already had won that day.

To start the extra frame, Lee retired Red Rolfe. When Tommy Henrich came to bat, there was DiMaggio, down on one knee in the on-deck circle.

Two bats in hand, he was waiting, watching Lee.

Down went Henrich. Thank goodness, Lee probably thought, nobody on to face DiMaggio.

When Lee hung a curveball, DiMaggio launched the ball far into the bleachers, and New York went home on a 3-2 victory cloud.

The Yankee hitting streak record of 29 straight loomed.

Source – Official Joe DiMaggio web site