Great streaks in sports history
A look back at some of the most iconic streaks in all of sports. In order from the longest streaks to the shortest.
Compiled by Bobby Bonett and Nick Klopsis
CAL RIPKEN JR., MLB
2,632 consecutive games played
1982-1998 (Sat out against Yankees)
With the Baltimore Orioles out of playoff contention, Ripken decided to take a day off, ending his MLB-leading string of consecutive games that started May 30, 1982, and ended Sept. 20, 1998. Lou Gehrig owned the previous record with 2,130 straight games, which Ripken broke on Sept. 6, 1995.
BRETT FAVRE, NFL
297 straight games played
1992-2010 (Sat out with injury against Giants in Week 14)
Favre was notorious for playing through pain, but on Dec. 12, 2010, even he couldn't withstand injury. After making 297 consecutive starts over 19 seasons, Favre, at 41 years old then with the Minnesota Vikings, was sidelined with a sprained SC joint that left him without feeling in his throwing hand. Favre played the following week against the Bears but missed the last two games of the regular season. He retired at the end of the year.
CAEL SANDERSON, NCAA WRESTLING
1998-2002 (Went undefeated in college career)
Wrestling at Iowa State, Sanderson's undefeated career goes down as one of the most impressive in college sports history. In fact, Sports Illustrated named his feat the second greatest in any collegiate sport, after only Jesse Owens' performance in the 1935 Big Ten track and field championships, where Owens set four world records in one hour. Sanderson is the only NCAA wrestler in history to go undefeated in more than 100 fights.
DE LA SALLE, HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL
1992-2004 (Lost to Bellevue, 39-20)
A high school football team that has two written books about them? Yeah, they're pretty good. De La Salle took home 12 California Interscholastic Federation North Coast Section championships during the run, which ended with an upset defeat at the hands of Bellevue.
EDWIN MOSES, 400M HURDLES
122-straight first-place finishes
1977-87 (Ended by Danny Harris)
Edwin Moses - 122 straight 400m hurdles wins (Ended by Danny Harris in 1987) A champion on- and off the track, Moses went nine years, nine months and nine days in between losses in the hurdles. His streak included an Olympic gold medal and four record-setting times. Moses still holds 26 of the fastest 100 times in the event.
UCLA BRUINS, NCAA MEN'S BASKETBALL
1971-74 (Lost to Notre Dame, 71-70)
Over a three-season span, the Bruins, coached by John Wooden and anchored by Bill Walton, managed an 89-1 mark. UCLA racked up seven-straight NCAA titles from 1966-1973, the final two coming during the streak.
JULIO CESAR CHAVEZ, BOXING
1980-1993 (Ended with a draw with Pernell Whitaker)
Chavez's career, which spanned an eye-popping 115 total fights, started with an 87-match winning streak. In fact, after fighting to a draw with Whitaker, Chavez proceeded to win two more fights, before losing to Frankie Randall in a split decision. chavez ranked 24th on ESPN's list of the 50 Greatest Boxers of All Time.
MARTINA NAVRATILOVA, WOMEN'S TENNIS
1984 (Lost to Helena Sukova)
You know a streak's good when it has a Wikipedia page dedicated to it. Starting at the U.S. Indoor Championships and ending in the semifinals of the Australian Open, Navratilova was unbeatable. Her reign of dominance in women's tennis spanned from the mid-1970s until the late-1980s.
CARL LEWIS, LONG JUMP
65-straight first-place finishes
1981-1991 (Ended by Mike Powell)
Before Michael Johnson and Usain Bolt, Carl Lewis was the ultimate Olympic athlete. Unbeatable for a decade, Lewis' resume includes nine Olympic golds. Lewis was even drafted in the NBA, taken 208th overall in the 1984 NBA Draft, though he never played.
JOE DIMAGGIO, MLB
56-game hitting streak
1941 (Went hitless against Cleveland on July 17, 1941)
On May 15, 1941, DiMaggio set out to break out of a slump -- and that he did. In a doubleheader against Washington on on June 29, 1941, DiMaggio tied George Sisler's 41-game hitting streak in the first game, then broke the record with his 42nd-straight hit in the second game. Sisler's record had stayed in tact for 44 years before that. DiMaggio went onto hit safely in 56 straight games, a record that still stands today.
OKLAHOMA SOONERS, NCAA D1 FOOTBALL
1953-57 (Lost to Notre Dame, 7-0)
Under Bud Wilkinson, the 1953 season started off unusually bad for the Sooners, with a loss to Notre Dame and a tie with Pittsburgh. After that, things looked up. Oklahoma reeled off 47-straight victories the next three years, including a pair of national championships in 1955 and 1956.
GUILLERMO VILAS, MEN'S TENNIS
1977 (Lost to Ilie Nastase)
Not Nadal or Sampras or Federer or Agassi, but Vilas. The Argentine tennis star's streak included clay-court and hard-court titles. In fact, Vilas actually won 72 of his last 73 ATP matches that season, not including the Masters.
PHILADELPHIA FLYERS, NHL
35-game unbeaten streak
1979-80 (Lost to Minnesota North Stars, 7-1)
The longest unbeaten streak in any American professional sport, the Flyers went 35 games in between losses during the 1979-80 season, including 25 wins and 10 ties. The streak was so impressive that with 14 games to play, the Flyers had already wrapped up the Patrick Division.
LOS ANGELES LAKERS, NBA
1971-72 (Lost to Bucks, 120-104)
Anchored by Wilt Chamberlain and Jerry West, the 1971-72 Lakers are regarded as one of the greatest teams in NBA history. Los Angeles went 69-13 in the regular season, and eventually topped the New York Knicks for the NBA title. The 69 wins stood as an NBA record until it was surpassed by Michael Jordan's 1995-96 Chicago Bulls.
NEW YORK GIANTS, MLB
26-game unbeaten streak
1916 (Lost to Boston Braves, 8-3)
When an MLB unbeaten streak includes a tie, you know it's old. The Giants, still stationed in New York, went 25-0-1 over a 26-game stretch. Since the MLB record books don't recognize ties as official statistics, the marks stands as baseball's longest "winning" streak.
MIAMI HEAT, NBA
27 straight regular-season wins
2012-13 (lost to Chicago Bulls, 101-97)
Prior to their loss to the Bulls, the Heat have not lost a game since Feb. 1, a 102-89 loss to the Indiana Pacers. Their run stands as the second-longest winning streak in NBA history.
CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS, NHL
24 straight regular-season games with at least one point
2012-13 (lost in regulation to Colorado Avalanche, 6-2, on March 8, 2013)
The Blackhawks opened the lockout-shortened 2013 season on a 21-0-3 run to set a new NHL record for consecutive games with at least one point to open a season.
CARL HUBBELL, STARTING PITCHER
1936-37 (Losing pitcher in Giants' 10-3 loss to Brooklyn Dodgers)
An MLB Hall of Famer, Hubbell managed to go 24-0 over a 27-game stretch. Sixteen of the wins came at the end of the 1936 season, when Hubbell pulled off the rare feat of taking home the MVP award as a pitcher. It was Hubbell's second MVP, the first coming in 1933.
ANDERSON SILVA, MMA
16 straight wins, 10 straight title defenses
Middleweight champion Anderson Silva has not lost a fight in the UFC, a string of 16 straight bouts that also includes 10 consecutive title defenses. Silva also won his last fight before joining the UFC, making it 17 straight wins overall.
BYRON NELSON, PGA TOUR
1945 (Ended by Fred Haas)
Sure, Tiger Woods has been dominant. But Nelson's 1945 season? Unparalleled. Despite contentions that the field was weakened due to the war, Nelson won 18 of 35 tournaments, including 11-straight, during the season.
RICHARD PETTY, NASCAR
10-straight checkered flags
1967 (Petty finished 18th at Charlotte Motor Speedway)
In an absolutely dominant season, Petty won 27 races in 48 starts to ease to the Winston Cup title. Petty outdistanced James Hylton by over 6000 points to take the crown. The final win of the streak came at North Wilkesboro Speedway.