Reliving Joe DiMaggio’s Streak, Game 3: May 17, 1941
New York scribes were hopeful that the previous day’s last-ditch rally was a portent of things to come for the Yankees.
It was not be—not yet, as on May 17, more than 10,000 watched Chicago White Sox pitcher Johnny Rigney outduel Spud Chandler, 3-2.
Joe DiMaggio lined a mid-game single, walked and scored. Nothing press-stopping. Mere mortals would have been praised for DiMaggio’s .311 batting average. But this was the Big Apple. Of the seven daily newspapers, two wrote about Joe’s “slump” continuing.
However, rookie shortstop Phil Rizzuto, 50 years later, remembered DiMaggio’s mystical season. Even his outs started to get loud.
“After the streak started, he hit nothing but bullets,” Rizzuto said. “Even the outs were ripped. I was glad I didn’t have to play the infield in front of him because he hit shots that took off your glove—and sometimes your hand with it.”
This afternoon was particularly unkind to Joe. Both of his outs were hard hit. A nice running catch by a former teammate, the diminutive Myril Hoag, in left and a line drive right at shortstop Luke Appling accounted for the two DiMaggio outs.
The Yankees nonetheless teased their fans again. Trailing 3-1 going into the final frame, the Pinstripes rallied for a run before Rigney retired the final two hitters.
The only solace: Front-running Cleveland had lost, too.
JoeDiMaggio.com is the official and authorized Web site of Joe DiMaggio. During the 70th anniversary of DiMaggio’s 56-game hitting streak, it is publishing “Reliving Joe DiMaggio’s Streak,” which follows the daily progress of Joltin’ Joe in 1941.