When we debuted Beat the Streak back in 2001, several outside 'experts' were convinced that with enough people playing, someone would beat Joe DiMaggio's 56-game hitting streak within a few years. They claimed the odds were only 250,000-1, and that if we had at least a quarter of a million people picking, the record had to fall. After all, picking one hitter a day to get a base hit sounds pretty simple, especially when you can choose from more than 300 hitters.
Twelve seasons, tens of millions of streaks and more than $16 million of combined prizes later, no fan has been able to score higher than 49. In fact 2012 has seen only one person reach 40, and with only a week left in the season no one can eclipse 56.
It took 65 1/2 seasons of modern baseball until Joe DiMaggio set his historic mark. We don't feel like waiting that long for one of our fans to break his record.
Since there is no one left with a chance of winning in 2012, we've decided to give everyone one final shot at this year's grand prize.
Introducing Beat the Streak in a Day: One day, 57 picks, $5.6 million on the line.
Traditional BTS requires patience and persistence -- you select one or two players to get a hit each day, stringing together a hitting streak over several weeks or months. Well, we don't have weeks or months left in the 2012 season. What we do have is Beat the Streak in a Day.
On Friday, you pick 57 Major Leaguers who you think will get a hit. Go 57-for-57, and the cash is yours. If no user picks perfectly, the user with the most correct selections will win $5,000.
All those years of Beat the Streak frustration -- the 15-game streak ended with a hitless pinch-hitting appearance, the 20-gamer you lost in a rain-shortened game, your 25-game run wiped out on a first-inning injury -- this is your chance to erase them in just one day. Posey, Miggy, McCutchen and every other big leaguer is on the table. Enter your own picks or have MLB.com select for you using players ranked among the top 150 hitters -- the choice is yours.
Barry M. Bloom has been a national reporter for MLB.com since 2002 and has more than 35 years of experience covering sports.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.