ASHLAND, Ky. – What do Joe DiMaggio and the Ashland Tomcats basketball program have in common?
They both have 56-game streaks.
DiMaggio has the unbreakable 56-game hitting streak for the New York Yankees from 1941 that remains one of the most elusive records in sports. Meanwhile, the 1959-63 Ashland Tomcat teams put together a remarkable 56-game winning streak against regional competition that remains the best mark in region history.
They have a challenger in the current run of Tomcats, who have a 41-game winning streak against 16th Region competition that ranks as the third-best mark in region history. Ashland has the potential of 10 region games remaining, including district and regional tournaments.
Should they win all those games, including if the Russell game is rescheduled, the Tomcats’ streak that started in February 2019 would reach 51 and be tied for second in region history. Ashland started a streak in the 1975-76 season that lasted until the district tournament in 1980 when Holy Family defeated the Tomcats, 69-64, to snap it at 51.
The 1959-60 Tomcats started the 56-game streak with the first game of that season. Ashland didn’t lose again until Jan. 29, 1963, when Russell downed the Tomcats 55-52 in the Red Devils’ gym.
Ashland has recorded eight streaks of 20 or more, including 39 (1927-30) that ties for fourth.
Boyd County had streaks of 26 (1994-96) and 24 (1980-82) and Clark County owned streaks of 39 (1947-50) and 28 (1956-58). Elliott County had a 30-game streak (2008-09), Olive Hill recorded 24 (1958-59) and Fleming County 21 (2013-14).
Ashland has been undefeated against region competition in the 2019-20 and 1920-21 seasons, going 19-0 and 15-0 respectively, under coach Jason Mays. The Tomcats are 4-0 so far this season. The current streak includes three wins from the regional tournament in March 2019.
Kudos to area sports historian Curtis Crye who tabulated these statistics.