Who actually owns baseball's winning streak record?

Sept. 13, 2017: WKYC's Ben Axelrod explains what it actually means if the Cleveland Indians win 21 straight games.

As the Cleveland Indians continue to chase history, some have found themselves asking -- what history is the Tribe actually chasing?

While the Indians' 20-game winning streak is already a franchise record, Cleveland is now approaching the longest such streak in all of baseball.

But what is that streak?

Depending on who you ask, you might get a different answer. With that in mind, let's take a look at the milestones that Cleveland is fast approaching.

1916 New York Giants -- 26 games

Although recognized as baseball's longest unbeaten streak, the New York Giants 26-game run without a loss in 1916 wasn't officially a winning streak -- it also included one tie. The same could be said of the Chicago White Stockings' 1880 run of 21 unbeaten games, which also included a tie.

Considering ties are no longer rewarded in baseball, it'd be tough to compare the Tribe's run to either team's.

1935 Chicago Cubs -- 21 games

When it comes to pure winning streaks, the 1935 Cubs' 21-game run is still the gold standard. Two-and-a-half games out of first-place on Sept. 4, Chicago wouldn't lose again until Sept. 28 before winning the National League pennant.

The Cubs would go on to lose the World Series to the Detroit Tigers in six games.

2002 Oakland Athletics -- 20 games

While the St. Louis Maroons (1884) and Providence Grays (1884) each also won 20 consecutive games, the Oakland A's 20-game streak in 2002 is recognized as the expansion era record. And up until the Indians did so during their current run, no other team has won as many as 18 straight games since the New York Yankees did so in 1953.

So while matching -- or exceeding -- the 1935 Cubs would give Cleveland a claim to baseball's all-time win streak, make no mistake about it, winning 20 straight games would be no small historical feat.

The Indians will look to continue their march toward history on Monday night when they host the Detroit Tigers at  Progressive Field.

© 2017 WKYC-TV


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