Stoler: The hottest streak in baseball?

From SABR member Mark Stoler at Things Have Changed on September 4, 2016:

As any regular reader of THC knows, we are a bit obsessed with hot streaks by major league baseball teams and players so we did a little research to try and find the hottest sustained individual batting performance.

A hot streak is different than a hitting streak.  During Joe DiMaggio’s 56 game hitting streak he batted only .408.  THC is looking for absolute barrages of hits over a period of at least 20 games.*

We took a look at some seasons when great hitters hit for very high averages and it was while researching George Sisler’s 1920 and 1922 seasons that we found what we were looking for.  In 1922, the St Louis Browns star, hit .420, while batting .407 in 1920.

Although he averaged over .400 both years, Sisler’s hitting pattern was different.  In 1922, his average was relatively consistent throughout the season, with no big slumps or hot streaks (although hitting .420 might itself be considered a year long hot streak).  He even had a 41 game hitting streak that season, during which he hit only .355.  Things were different in 1920 with Sisler batting .474 at home, compared to .341 on the road, indicating he must have had some real hot streaks (in 1922, George’s home/road differential was only .052).  The Browns star went hitless in only 8 of 78 home games, failing to get a hit only once in his last 40 games at friendly Sportsman’s Park.

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Originally published: September 6, 2016. Last Updated: September 6, 2016.