The fact that this distinction can even be made is a sad part of baseball history, but it's a testament to the sport's longevity through U.S. history. Though some African-Americans played professionally in the late 1800s, segregation forced them out by 1900 [source: Negro Leagues Baseball Museum]. Even when Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in 1945, it still took many years for Major League Baseball to fully integrate.
Compared to the white teams of the times, black teams played in a much more fractious system. When they were forced out of professional baseball in 1900, the players organized teams that would hit the field almost any chance they got. This led to multiple leagues, inconsistent, short-lived teams and poor record-keeping. Some clubs were established in large home cities while others barnstormed from town to town, playing for anyone who would pay to watch. And since winning streaks are based on officially sanctioned games, it's been very difficult to confirm a top team. Because of this, neither the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum nor the National Baseball Hall of Fame officially recognizes a leader for winning streaks in the Negro Leagues. Yet.
How you define a win streak for The Major League of this same era could have a lot to do with where you live. If you're from New York, a winning streak probably means how long your team went without a loss. That's because the 1916 New York Giants managed to put together 26 victories in a row. Sort of. They actually had 12 victories, one tie against the Pittsburgh Pirates and then 14 more victories [source: Baseball Almanac]. The Giants were an arguably great team that year, still regarded as one of the best ever. Earlier in the same season, they had a 17-game streak. But if you're a Chicago Cubs fan, that one tie in middle of the Giants' run is a point of great contention. That's because the 1935 Cubs had 21 straight victories. Nothing but Ws.