- OF, 1B
- Joltin' Joe, The Yankee Clipper
- December 25, 1914
- 6' 2"
- 193 lbs
- Major League Debut:
- 5-03-1936 with NYA
- Allstar Selections:
- 1939 ML, 1939 MVP, 1941 MVP, 1947 MVP
- Hall of Fame:
DiMaggio's 56 game hitting streak song
Joe DiMaggio became an American hero at a time when Americans had little to feel heroic about. He was an American idol when America struggled with idealism. This wonderful ballplayer exhibited grace and class in a game that less than two decades prior had been blemished by a gambling scandal. DiMaggio attracted attention years after his retirement not just for his exploits on the diamond, but for his extraordinary traits as an American.
#9 (1936), #5 (1937-1942, 1946-1951)
"There was never a day when I was as good as Joe DiMaggio at his best. Joe was the best, the very best I ever saw." — Stan Musial
"The phrase 'off with the crack of the bat,' while romantic, is really meaningless, since the outfielder should be in motion long before he hears the sound of the ball meeting the bat." "I had made a solemn promise to myself that I wouldn't try to hang on once the end was in sight. It wasn't easy to pass up $100,000, but with me it was all or nothing." â€” on his decision to retire in 1951, rather than accept a $100,000 contract from the Yankees "Well, it's a strange feeling becoming a museum piece at the age of 40 - if that's what they mean. But to the fellow who has made baseball his life's work, Cooperstown is more than a collection of relics and fancy-worded plaques. It is the final touch every major leaguer would like to add to his career. There is no greater honor." â€” on his 1955 election to the National Baseball Hall of Fame
In his last minor league season, in 1935, DiMaggio hit 39 homers, 25 of them on the road, and 14 at Seals Stadium in San Francisco.
Though Ted Williams great '41 season denied DiMaggio a batting or slugging title, Joltin' Joe had a monster year. He slugged .643 with a .440 OBP (1.083 OPS). He led the league with 125 RBI, and hit 30 homers and 43 doubles. He also scored 122 runs, collected 193 hits, and smashed 11 triples. Amazingly, he struck out just 13 times! He had 76 walks, and did all of this while playing his usual fantastic center field. Oh yes...and he also posted his 56-game hitting streak and led the Yankees to a World Series title.
Joe DiMaggio's 56-game hitting streak was stopped by Cleveland pitcher Jim Bagby Jr., son of former big league pitcher Jim Bagby. In the minor leagues, DiMaggio had a 61-game hitting streak stopped by Ed Walsh Jr., son of Hall of Fame right-hander Ed Walsh.
On September 13, 1946, Yankee Joe DiMaggio belted a home run to defeat the Detroit Tigers and eliminate them from the pennant race. His homer gave the pennant to the Boston Red Sox. BoSox players Dom DiMaggio, Bobby Doerr, and Tex Hughson sent DiMaggio a telegram in Detroit, which said: "Thanks a lot for that home run, pal!"
His record 56-game hitting streak has stood for more than 60 years.
As the 1939 season drew to a close, 24-year old Joe DiMaggio was on the brink of baseball history. "I remember there were about three weeks to go in the season and I had a plus-.400 batting average," Joe recalled in 1963. "I figured I was odds-on to finish the year with a .400 mark. I remember Joe McCarthy calling me into his office and telling me he didn't think I wanted to be a cheese champion so he was going to play me every day, even though the pennant was about clinched." "I agreed, but a few days later I got this terrible pain over my right eye. I didn't tell anyone, and I went to a doctor who gave me Novocain shots over the eye to kill the pain. I was taking a terrible chance, but I never thought of the consequences. All I wanted to do was stay in the lineup and hit .400. I didn't make it though." DiMaggio finished the season at .381, winning his first batting title and Most Valuable Player Award.
DiMaggio and the MVP Award
DiMaggio won two controversial MVP awards over Ted Williams: in 1941 (by 37 votes, despite Williams' .406 average); and in 1947, (by a single vote). Twice he finished second, once in a very close vote. In 1937 he lost the honor to Detroit's Charlie Gehringer by four votes. 1936 - 8th 1937 - 2nd 1938 - 6th 1939 - 1st 1940 - 3rd 1941 - 1st 1942 - 7th 1943-1945 (military) 1946 - 19th 1947 - 1st 1948 - 2nd 1949 - 12th 1950 - 9th
DiMaggio vs. Stengel
Late in his career, DiMaggio had a feud with Yankee manager Casey Stengel, whom he had little respect for. On July 8, 1951, after DiMaggio committed an error in center field, Stengel measured some revenge when he replaced Joe with rookie Jackie Jensen in the middle of the game. DiMaggio retired at the end of the season.
November 25, 1914: Born in Martinez, California, the eighth of nine children of Sicilian immigrants. Two brothers also became major leaguers: Dom with the Boston Red Sox and Vince with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
May 1936: Major league debut with New York Yankees.
November 1939: Marries actress Dorothy Arnold. Their marriage produces a son, Joe III, but ends in divorce in 1944.
1939, 1941 and 1947: Selected as American League's Most Valuable Player.
1936, 1937, 1938, 1939, 1941, 1942, 1947, 1949, 1950, 1951: Plays in the World Series. Yankees win all but 1942.
1939, 1940: Wins American League batting championship.
May 15 to July 17, 1941: 56-game hitting streak shatters record of 44 held by Willie Keeler, that had stood for more than 40 years.
February 1943: Enlists in the Army, spends rest of war serving in physical training program for Air Force cadets.
December 11, 1951: Announces retirement as a player after 13 seasons. "I feel that I have reached the stage where I can no longer produce for my ball club, my manager, my teammates and my fans the sort of baseball their loyalty to me deserves."
January 14, 1954: Marries Marilyn Monroe at San Francisco City Hall.
October 1954: Monroe divorces him.
1955: Elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in his third year of eligibility. (No player between 1937 and 1961 was named in his first year of eligibility.)
August 5, 1962: Monroe dies. DiMaggio sends roses to her grave for years.
1969: Voted greatest living baseball player.
1968-1969: Member of board of directors, Oakland A's.
1980-1988: Member of board of directors, Baltimore Orioles
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