KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City Royals second baseman Whit Merrifield is one game shy of tying a 39-year club record.
Merrifield extended his consecutive games hitting streak to 29 with a single back up the middle. The hit came in the first inning of the Royals' 13-5 home loss to the Seattle Mariners. Royals legend George Brett set the record in 1980. That same year, Brett finished with a .390 batting average which is still a Royals record in the category.
Whit's streak comes over two seasons. And, while some may try to put an asterisk on this particular record should he tie and ultimately break it, his accomplishment is truly special. The Major League Baseball record for most consecutive hits in a season rests firmly with New York Yankees legend Joe DiMaggio. He earned a hit in 56 consecutive games in 1941.
The next closest person to DiMaggio is Willie Keeler who hit in 44 straight game between 1896 & 1897.
Just before last week's home game against the Minnesota Twins on April 4, Merrifield was asked in the locker room if he was thinking about the streak and chasing the late great DiMaggio.
"No. I mean, it is what it is," Merrifield said. "You know, I don't think DiMaggio's rolling over in his grave, you know, worried about me getting close to him. So, it's just, you know, been a pretty consistent run for me. And, I take pride in, you know, being a consistent player. So, it's cool to kind of have numbers reflect that."
Whit will attempt to get a hit in his 30th straight game on Tuesday, April 9 against Seattle. First pitch will take place at Kauffman Stadium at 7:15 p.m.