KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Whit Merrifield earned a place in Kansas City Royals history when he extended his hitting streak Wednesday to a club-record 31 games.
Merrifield, a utility man who signed a four-year contract extension with the Royals in January, broke George Brett’s record Wednesday with a game-tying bunt single in the seventh inning against the Seattle Mariners at Kauffman Stadium.
Brett established the previous record during his MVP season in 1980, when he batted .390 and led the Royals to the World Series for the first time in franchise history.
"I couldn't be more proud of you. I couldn't be more proud of the person you've become," Brett said in a congratulatory message that aired on the Fox Sports Kansas City broadcast. "For you to break my record, I'm so proud of you, my friend. Hey, there's nothing wrong with being second best. Congratulations, I hope you make it a lot more than 31."
Merrifield's streak, which began last September, is the longest multi-season streak since Jimmy Rollins hit safely in 38 straight games for Philadelphia from 2005-06.
The Major League Baseball record for longest hitting streak belongs to New York Yankees legend and Hall of Famer Joe DiMaggio, who hit safely in 56 consecutive games in 1941.
The longest hitting streak in the American League since the Royals were founded in 1969 is Paul Molitor’s 39-game streak in 1987, which is the seventh-longest in baseball history.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.