Sunday marked the first time in 2014 that Toronto Blue Jays superstar Jose Bautista did not get on base. The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim put an end to his 38 game on-base streak. No doubt, a remarkable achievement. Bautista has been one of the best players in the game since 2010. Yet how many people were aware of this streak?
It did not appear to be something worthy of news. Granted, he still would’ve had a while to go. The longest streak ever belongs to Hall of Famer Ted Williams, who reached on base 84 straight times from July 1 – Sept. 27, 1949. He could’ve reached the halfway point this upcoming week. It didn’t seem to be that big of a story. MLB.com did not have it on their homepage when it ended, nor did it seem to be very much in headlines when it was going on.
Nolan Arenado just ended a 28 game hitting streak on Friday, a new franchise record for the Colorado Rockies. He was perhaps the biggest individual story in the game. All one had to do was go to MLB’s website or watch MLB Network and the news of Arenado’s hit streak was making its rounds. Let’s get something perfectly straight here, Arenado had a fantastic feat. His attention was well earned and well deserved. It’s hard to get a hit for that many games, probably harder than it is to get on base. Not in any sense is this an attempt to invalidate or diminish what Arenado did. It just doesn’t seem fair if one streak is heavily talked about while another one doesn’t get anywhere near such attention.
Getting on base is such a huge, vital part to the game. Think about how much more special a perfect game is than a no-hitter is. It has happened in baseball history where a team did not record a single hit and still won the game. How many teams have ever had a perfect game thrown against them and won? It’s a combination of things for the on base streak to count: Hits, walks and hit-by-pitches. The first two things are rather impressive if a batter can manage one of them. Reaching via an error does not count.
Hopefully those who knew about the streak can pay homage to Bautista, and hopefully the next time someone has an on-base streak at this many games or higher, it can get more attention.
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