Denard Span's Hit Streak Ends: Nationals' Outfielder In D.C. Baseball History

Greg Fiume

Denard Span's hit streak ended last night at 29 games, leaving the Washington Nationals' center fielder with the fifth-longest hit streak in D.C. baseball history. Span joins a list of streakers that includes Ryan Zimmerman, Heinie Manush, Sam Rice and Gene DeMontreville.

[ed. note - "Every Friday morning throughout this season, hopefully, if they'll continue to have me, I'll be writing a post over at MASNSports.com's Nationals Buzz, "... as part of MASNsports.com's season-long initiative of welcoming guest," writers to their site. All opinions expressed are my own... A sample follows... You can read the entire post HERE or through the link included below."]:

"Alexander Ferguson did not allow [Sam] Rice a hit, stopping Sam after he had rapped out at least one safety in his last 31 games..." - Frank H. Young, Washington Post - September, 1924

If Denard Span started another hit streak tonight he'd be nine games in when the 2013 campaign ends. Gene DeMontreville, holder of the longest hit streak in D.C. baseball history and the 10th-longest in baseball history, was 17 games into what ended being a 36-game hit streak when the 1896 season ended with the 23-year-old DeMontreville at .343/.381/.452 with 27 walks, eight triples, three home runs, 29 walks and 27 strikeouts in 133 games and 581 plate appearances for the Washington Senators. His hit streak ended 19 games into the 1897 season.

Twenty-seven years later, Sam Rice made a run at the longest hit streak in D.C. baseball history when he put together a 31-game streak that lasted from Aug. 23 to Sept. 24.


Over the course of his streak, the 34-year-old Rice had a .390/.435/.485 line with 11 doubles, a triple, 10 walks and four strikeouts in 152 plate appearances. Rice's streak ended with an 0-for-4 performance against Red Sox right-hander Alexander Ferguson in Fenway Park. "Alexander Ferguson did not allow Rice a hit, stopping Sam after he had rapped out at least one safety in his last 31 games," Washington Post reporter Frank H. Young wrote in his report on the Senators' 153rd game of a 1924 campaign which would see them go on to win the one and only World Series in D.C. baseball history.

Washington returned to the Series in 1925 and lost, and the nation's capital suffered through an eight-year dry spell after that second straight postseason appearance. In 1933, though, the Senators returned to the World Series led by General Crowder and Earl Whitehill on the mound and a then 31-year-old outfielder named Heinie Manush and his .336/.372/.459 line.

In his fourth season in D.C. after he arrived along with Crowder in a 1930 trade with the Browns that sent Goose Goslin to St. Louis, Manush started a hit streak on July 22 that lasted until Aug. 26, when he went 0-for-5 in a 5-4 loss on the road in Cleveland. Manush went 50-for-152 over the course of his hit streak, posting a .362/.413/.486 line with three doubles, four triples and two home runs in 33 games. It would be 76 years before another player based in the nation's capital would get to 30 straight games with hits..."

• Read the entire post over at MASNSports.com's Nationals Buzz:

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