With the Red Sox’s Jackie Bradley Jr. in the midst of an impressive 27-game hitting streak (Update: it ended at 29 games), it seems like the perfect time to brush off this Pick-Six idea I’ve had waiting in the shadows for the past few months. Whether it’s a winning streak, hit streak, a streak of starting games, and everything in between, fans love to watch a streak. It boosts ratings, sells out stadiums, and gives everyone something easy to talk about. In honor of all of this excitement, it’s time to take a look at the best streaks in sports history.
6. Drew Brees’ 54 Consecutive Games With A Touchdown Pass
It’s rare for a quarterback to be as consistent as Drew Brees was from 2009-2012, where he threw a touchdown pass in 54 straight games. That’s the equivalent of three and a half regular seasons, and solidified himself in the record books with one that may not be broken for quite some time. The next best streak is 47 games by Johnny Unitas, which are tough shoes to beat for any NFL quarterback, proving just how impressive Brees’ streak truly is.
5. Cael Sanderson’s 159 Straight Division I Wrestling Wins
Cael Sanderson is considered to be a god of the wrestling world, at both the freestyle and Olympic level. He’s been dominant as a coach at Penn State, but was winning on the mat long before he took his post in the corner of the mat. He amassed a record of 159-0 in his collegiate wrestling career, winning four NCAA championships from 1999-2002. He surpassed the previous record holder, Dan Gable, in 2001, whose 100 wins came in the 1970s. It’s considered a tough feat to even pull off four straight NCAA titles at the Division 1 level, let alone go undefeated while doing so.
4. Brett Favre’s 297 (or 321) Consecutive Starts
In the football world, it’s tough to avoid injury for this many games, especially at the quarterback position. Brett Favre started 297 straight regular season games, and 321 straight if you count postseason starts. His streak lasted 18 years, and spanned three different teams until he was finally listed as inactive in 2010. It’s a streak that players have come close to, but always fall short of, and it will be tough for any player, specifically a quarterback, to match Favre’s streak.
3. Boston Celtics’ Eight Straight NBA Titles
The Celtics were dominant from the 1958-59 season to the 1965-66 season, and their streak won’t be broken anytime soon by any modern day team. The Celtics were able to keep their core group, consisting mainly of Bill Russell and K.C. Jones, together for an extended period of time all while under the tutelage of legendary coach Red Auerbach, and kept their success going for years on end. If the Warriors of today can somehow keep their dominant grouping of Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green together for that long, they may have a chance to pull off a title streak that comes close, but I don’t think it’ll be possible for any team to win nine straight titles to break the record.
2. Cal Ripken Jr.’s 2,632 Consecutive Games
I had a tough time deciding whether or not I wanted this streak at the top of this week’s Pick-Six, but felt it would be okay to let it sit in the number two spot. Originally, Lou Gehrig held the record for consecutive games at 2,130 games played, and that was considered a record that would never be broken. Then came Cal Ripken Jr. He broke the record by over 500 games, playing in every game between May 30, 1982 and Sept. 19, 1998; a streak lasting over 16 years. Some careers don’t even last 16 years in the current era of the MLB, making it almost impossible for anyone to come close to breaking this streak.
1. Joe DiMaggio 56-Game Hit Streak
This streak has proven to be the most difficult to break in baseball history. Many have tried, but none have succeeded when it comes to attempting to break Joe DiMaggio’s 56-game hit streak in 1941. The closest to come to the record was Pete Rose in 1978, who tallied 44 straight games with a hit before falling short of the streak. If this record is ever broken, and I really mean IF, it’ll be one of the most historic moments in baseball. Until then, this is the one streak that tops them all.