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Brian Walton's news and commentary on the St. Louis Cardinals (TM) and their minor league system

Theriot’s chase of Rajah, The Man and The Machine ends

Fans with an eye toward baseball’s rich history are very familiar with Joe DiMaggio’s record 56-game hitting streak. Compiled in 1941, it is one of the game’s most famous and arguably one of its most difficult to be broken.

On the National League side, many know Pete Rose holds a share of the longest at 44 games, set in 1978, tying Willie Keeler’s 1897 best. If you are like me, however, you didn’t know who holds the St. Louis Cardinals record.

The correct answer is not shortstop Ryan Theriot, whose 20-game streak ended at the hands of Houston’s Cardinal killer Bud Norris and reliever Mark Melancon on Wednesday night in Houston.

Theriot’s feat was non-trivial, however, and reached more than halfway to the team record. It is tied for 32nd-longest in team history and is the best streak by a Cardinal since Ryan Ludwick went 21 games two seasons ago.

I did find it interesting that Theriot’s .759 OPS during his streak was the lowest of any of the 42 streaks on the top list and his .326 batting average was third-worst.

Albert Pujols strung together 30 consecutive games with a hit back in his third season of 2003, the best performance by a Cardinal in the last decade. In the process, Pujols tied Stan Musial, whose 30 games in 1950 is the longest streak ever by a Cardinals left-handed hitter.

The overall team leader?

That would be Hall of Famer Rogers Hornsby. “Rajah” hit safely in 33 consecutive games almost 89 years ago, in August and September 1922.

St. Louis Cardinals longest hitting streaks, consecutive games

Rk Hitter Strk Start End G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SO BB SB CS BA OBP SLG OPS
1 Rogers Hornsby 8/13/1922 9/19/1922 33 146 38 68 11 6 9 34 10 8 2 3 0.466 0.494 0.808 1.302
T2 Albert Pujols 7/12/2003 8/16/2003 30 118 29 46 12 1 8 26 15 16 1 0 0.390 0.467 0.712 1.179
T2 Stan Musial 6/27/1950 7/26/1950 30 121 21 47 12 0 7 31 6 10 0 0 0.388 0.435 0.661 1.096
T4 Curt Flood 9/17/1961 5/4/1962 29 131 26 52 5 4 4 17 9 8 4 2 0.397 0.429 0.588 1.016
T4 Ken Boyer 8/10/1959 9/12/1959 29 117 14 41 2 2 8 23 20 8 1 2 0.350 0.389 0.607 0.996
T4 Harry Walker 7/21/1943 8/18/1943 29 114 23 46 8 1 0 13 3 7 1 0 0.404 0.438 0.491 0.929
T7 Red Schoendienst 6/11/1954 7/9/1954 28 124 21 48 11 3 0 13 4 9 0 0 0.387 0.422 0.524 0.946
T7 Joe Medwick 8/17/1935 9/11/1935 28 120 25 43 7 4 4 21 8 4 3 0 0.358 0.384 0.583 0.967
9 Lou Brock 4/30/1971 5/30/1971 26 112 29 48 9 1 1 9 19 8 9 3 0.429 0.471 0.554 1.025
10 Joe McEwing 6/8/1999 7/4/1999 25 110 13 35 8 1 1 7 21 6 0 0 0.318 0.350 0.436 0.787
T11 Joe Torre 9/30/1970 4/28/1971 24 96 14 41 4 1 4 19 11 3 0 1 0.427 0.444 0.615 1.059
T11 Wally Moon 5/5/1957 5/31/1957 24 99 21 34 10 2 7 20 9 6 2 0 0.343 0.381 0.697 1.078
T11 Stan Musial 6/6/1952 6/28/1952 24 90 23 36 3 3 4 13 3 19 0 0 0.400 0.505 0.633 1.138
T14 Jose Oquendo 6/28/1989 7/25/1989 23 84 15 39 5 3 0 13 8 9 0 1 0.464 0.505 0.595 1.101
T14 Pepper Martin 4/29/1935 6/3/1935 23 104 26 45 7 1 0 11 15 5 3 0 0.433 0.459 0.519 0.978
T14 Frankie Frisch 8/12/1931 9/4/1931 23 99 22 39 3 1 2 23 1 5 10 0 0.394 0.423 0.505 0.928
T17 Willie McGee 7/5/1990 8/1/1990 22 87 12 36 6 0 1 14 16 4 4 3 0.414 0.446 0.517 0.963
T17 Vada Pinson 7/6/1969 8/1/1969 22 89 14 29 4 2 1 17 8 6 0 1 0.326 0.365 0.449 0.814
T17 Harry Walker 5/22/1943 6/15/1943 22 80 18 36 6 3 1 8 1 9 0 0 0.450 0.506 0.638 1.143
T17 Stan Musial 5/16/1943 6/5/1943 22 83 18 32 4 3 3 19 2 15 2 0 0.386 0.485 0.614 1.099
T17 Whitey Kurowski 4/27/1943 5/23/1943 22 90 16 32 1 2 2 13 7 5 1 0 0.356 0.389 0.478 0.867
T17 Johnny Mize 8/2/1936 8/24/1936 22 82 20 32 7 2 5 23 9 13 0 0 0.390 0.474 0.707 1.181
T17 Jim Bottomley 8/4/1924 8/25/1924 22 87 17 40 6 3 5 29 2 7 0 1 0.460 0.500 0.770 1.270
T17 Rogers Hornsby 9/17/1920 4/25/1921 22 99 18 45 7 4 1 12 7 6 4 2 0.455 0.491 0.636 1.127
T25 Ryan Ludwick 9/17/2008 4/18/2009 21 77 15 32 7 0 9 27 18 9 1 1 0.416 0.483 0.857 1.340
T25 Lou Klein 5/9/1943 5/30/1943 21 89 17 27 5 2 4 11 9 8 0 0 0.303 0.361 0.539 0.900
T25 Enos Slaughter 9/8/1940 9/26/1940 21 81 18 34 8 3 2 22 1 8 4 0 0.420 0.472 0.667 1.139
T25 Joe Medwick 7/1/1936 7/23/1936 21 87 18 43 13 1 2 16 4 6 0 0 0.494 0.532 0.736 1.268
T25 Ernie Orsatti 5/30/1932 6/26/1932 21 81 13 30 9 0 1 7 2 3 0 0 0.370 0.400 0.519 0.919
T25 Les Bell 7/7/1926 7/30/1926 21 79 19 41 8 1 4 24 5 10 4 0 0.519 0.573 0.797 1.371
T25 Milt Stock 9/15/1921 4/18/1922 21 84 17 33 5 1 0 10 4 7 1 1 0.393 0.440 0.476 0.916
T32 Ryan Theriot 5/15/2011 6/7/2011 20 86 8 28 7 0 0 11 8 3 0 1 0.326 0.352 0.407 0.759
T32 Placido Polanco 7/21/2001 8/11/2001 20 84 13 28 6 1 1 6 5 3 3 0 0.333 0.364 0.464 0.828
T32 John Mabry 5/19/1997 6/9/1997 20 79 11 33 4 0 2 18 15 5 0 0 0.418 0.447 0.544 0.991
T32 Lou Brock 5/16/1967 6/6/1967 20 93 22 35 7 0 7 16 14 1 10 4 0.376 0.379 0.677 1.056
T32 Bill White 7/23/1964 8/12/1964 20 81 14 38 7 0 3 18 15 6 1 0 0.469 0.494 0.667 1.161
T32 Stan Musial 9/23/1957 5/7/1958 20 75 16 41 13 0 4 15 6 13 0 0 0.547 0.607 0.880 1.487
T32 Wally Moon 7/16/1957 8/3/1957 20 74 14 29 7 0 1 7 6 12 0 0 0.392 0.466 0.527 0.993
T32 Stan Musial 6/1/1957 6/20/1957 20 75 13 30 8 0 6 20 2 9 1 0 0.400 0.453 0.747 1.200
T32 Stan Musial 9/12/1953 4/19/1954 20 79 22 35 9 1 7 22 9 13 1 1 0.443 0.516 0.848 1.364
T32 Terry Moore 8/1/1942 8/22/1942 20 75 13 26 2 1 1 11 2 6 4 0 0.347 0.402 0.440 0.842
T32 Rogers Hornsby 7/3/1923 7/22/1923 20 80 20 43 9 3 4 27 9 7 0 1 0.538 0.575 0.875 1.450

Thanks to researcher Tom Orf for pulling the above table.

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