First, I haven't seen it, but my apologies if someone's already covered this on the site in recent days... With his double last night, Albert reached based for the 32nd consecutive game, which got me wondering: What's the all-time record streak for this category? We all know about DiMaggio's 56-game hitting streak, but I've never heard who holds the record for consecutive games on base....
Turns out it is Ted Williams, who reached base in 84 consecutive games in 1949 (July 1 through September 27). DiMaggio's 1941 hitting streak helped him post the 2nd highest streak on the list -- 74 consecutive games on base (May 14 through August 2). Williams also holds the 3rd and 4th spots -- 69 straight games in 1941, and 65 games in 1948.
As for players in more recent years: Barry Bonds (as you might expect) has the longest streak -- 58 games in 2003. (That's the longest NL-streak, matching Duke Snider's 58 games in 1954.) Wade Boggs had a 57-game streak in 1985; Ryan Klesko (?!) had a 56-game streak in 2002 for the Padres; and Jim Thome had a 55-game streak for Cleveland in 2002. Stan the Man holds the Cards' record -- Musial reached base in 55 straight cames in 1943. More recently, Vince Coleman reached base in 50 straight games in 1987.
Two questions for everyone to ponder/debate:
1) What do you think Albert's chances are of breaking the Splendid Splinter's record this season (or even DiMaggio's 74, for that matter)?
2) What's the more impressive record (or -- perhaps a slightly different question -- which will be the toughest to break): Ted Williams's on-base streak, or DiMaggio's hitting streak?
As for #1, I'd put Albert's chances at about 15 percent; 84-straight is a hell of a lot of games.
For #2 -- tough call. Obviously it's a little easier simply to reach base in a game than to get a hit... but keeping any sort of streak alive depends on a fantastic combination of talent and sheer luck, so Williams's 84-straight-games on-base streak looms pretty large to me given the huge number of consecutive games where he had to do something right (either get a hit, draw a walk, or get plunked). So I'd give that the slight nod over the great DiMaggio hitting streak. I'd be surprised to see either one broken anytime soon, but my guess is DiMaggio's might be a little easier to crack.