Tribe- 11 Yanks - 1
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1999 Division Series
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(The following are articles that
I enjoyed reading. Each article lists the author as they were not written by
DiMaggio an American hero
By Bob Kimball, USATODAY.com
American icon Joe DiMaggio, who patrolled center field with grace and precision and won
pennant after pennant with the New York Yankees, died Monday at his home in Hollywood,
Fla.. The Yankee Clipper was 84 and had undergone surgery for lung cancer in October
before developing pneumonia. DiMaggio's impact on the Yankees, sports and American culture
was dramatic following his arrival in New York from San Francisco in 1936.
The Hall of Famer starred on four World Series winners in his first four major league
seasons and wound up leading the Yankees to 10 American League titles and nine Series
championships in 13 years. DiMaggio was, in short, one of the great winners in history who
also surrendered three years in the middle of his playing career to military service. Fans
might have hated the Yankees, but they always admired and even rooted for DiMaggio.
After baseball retirement in 1951, he made headlines by marrying - and divorcing - movie
queen Marilyn Monroe, appearing on TV as Mr. Coffee and generally being Joe DiMaggio. It
was during his brief marriage to Monroe in 1954 that he supposedly made one of the great
rejoinders. Upon returning from entertaining troops in Korea, Monroe told her new husband,
"Darling, you've never heard such cheering." Replied the often understated
DiMaggio, "Yes I have."
DiMaggio stands with game's
By Tom Weir, USA TODAY
To some, he was Mr. Coffee. To others, he was the man who for decades regularly sent red
roses to the grave of his second wife, Marilyn Monroe. There also were those who knew him
only because of a musical question, "Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio?"
But baseball fans knew him long before any of that. And, for them, today there is a sad
truth provided by the second part of the Simon and Garfunkel lyric:
"Joltin' Joe has left and gone away."
DiMaggio, 84, died shortly after midnight
Monday at his home in Hollywood, Fla., surrounded by friends and family members. The exact
cause of death was not known, but he had suffered from lung cancer and other ailments.
Funeral arrangements have not been disclosed. He is survived by his brother Dominick, son
Joe Jr., grandchildren Paula and Cathy, and four great-grandchildren.
The son of an immigrant crab fisherman,
DiMaggio was one of nine children in a family that also sent brothers Dom and Vince to the
major leagues. He was born Giuseppe Paolo DiMaggio in 1914 in the San Francisco-area town
of Martinez, but came to be known as the Yankee Clipper while in effect manning the helm
of baseball's best team for 13 seasons.
In the chain of New York Yankees dynasties that ruled baseball from the '20s to the '60s,
DiMaggio was the solid-gold link between the eras of Lou Gehrig and Mickey Mantle. The
first of DiMaggio's three MVP seasons, 1939, was the year Gehrig took the field only eight
times and ended his streak of 2,130 games played. DiMaggio's last season, 1951, was
Mantle's rookie year.
DiMaggio's seemingly effortless grace in center field and at the plate has inspired
countless odes. Les Brown and his Band of Renown dedicated a song to DiMaggio in the '40s,
and even Nobel Prize-winning author Ernest Hemingway devoted several passages of dialogue
to DiMaggio in The Old Man and the Sea.
When at last the old man has landed his catch, he muses, "I wonder how the great
DiMaggio would have liked the way I hit him in the brain?"
But perhaps Yankees manager Casey Stengel best captured the ease of DiMaggio's greatness:
"Joe did everything so naturally that half the time he gave the impression he wasn't
trying," Stengel once said. "He made the rest of them look like plumbers."
In 10 of DiMaggio's 13 seasons, the Yankees reached the World Series, and in nine they
were crowned Series champs. DiMaggio still ranks as the only player to win a World Series
ring in his first four seasons (1936-39), but his baseball immortality will be marked by a
record that most of the game's experts agree will accompany him to the grave.
After slumping early in the 1941 season, DiMaggio eked out a scratch single during a
1-for-4 performance May 15. He didn't go hitless again until July 17, a stupefying string
of 56 games.
Six games of the streak pitted DiMaggio against starting pitchers who, like himself, were
headed for the Hall of Fame: Bob Feller (twice), Hal Newhouser (twice), Lefty Grove and
Ending the streak required a pair of fielding gems by Cleveland third baseman Ken Keltner,
but even then DiMaggio wasn't really done. The next game, he began a 17-game hitting
DiMaggio had prepped for that historic run as a teen-ager. He had left high school after
just one year to work in a fish cannery, then signed to play with the San Francisco Seals
of the Pacific Coast League. At 18, DiMaggio had a 61-game hitting streak for the Seals,
which still ranks as the longest in all of professional baseball.
That 1933 streak made him one of the most publicized prospects in baseball history, but a
knee injury the next year cooled the interest of all teams except the Yankees. They bought
his contract for $25,000 and accepted the Seals' condition that DiMaggio would play one
more minor league season in San Francisco before donning pinstripes. In that season,
DiMaggio batted .398.
Cheers and jeers
DiMaggio's Yankee Stadium debut May 3 attracted an estimated 25,000 Italian-Americans who
showed up to wave their homeland's flag. In recent years, he naturally had received huge
ovations while throwing out ceremonial first pitches at postseason games. And the cheers
he received during pre-fight introductions of celebrities at major boxing events were
always second only to those for Muhammad Ali.
But, contrary to modern impressions, the applause wasn't always so unanimous for the man
who earned baseball's first $100,000 salary.
After driving in 167 runs in 1937, DiMaggio demanded a $45,000 contract in 1938. He had to
settle for a reported $25,000, but by the time his holdout ended he had been vilified by
the press and inundated with hate mail. The next year, an infamous article appeared in
Life that was littered with anti-Italian slurs against DiMaggio.
In 1942, another contract dispute led to a questioning of DiMaggio's patriotism. The
Yankees, anticipating financial downturns because of World War II, asked DiMaggio to take
a pay cut. When DiMaggio refused, Yankees management turned the holdout into a
That season, DiMaggio was roundly booed in American League stadiums. The next year, he
enlisted in the Army and, at the age of 28, lost three potentially prime seasons to
Along with a career-long succession of injuries, those wartime years ended any shot for
DiMaggio to rank among the top 10 or top 20 in any of the major statistical categories.
He also was deprived of an excellent chance to join the ranks of .400 hitters. Batting
.412 in early September 1939, DiMaggio developed an eye problem and finished at .381,
still good enough to win one of his two batting titles.
But DiMaggio does deserve to be remembered for the virtually unmatched efficiency of
producing 361 career home runs while striking out only 369 times. While hitting 714
homers, Babe Ruth fanned 1,330 times. For Mantle, the ratio was 536-1,710. For Reggie
Comfort of silence
The one time DiMaggio did strike out quickly was in his 1954 marriage to Marilyn Monroe,
which lasted only nine months.
Most famous quote from the marriage came when Monroe returned from entertaining 100,000
U.S. troops in South Korea. She told her husband, "It was so wonderful, Joe, you
never heard such cheering."
"Yes, I have," was the reply of the man who played in 51 World Series games.
In their divorce proceedings, the sex symbol of the '50s said that the sports icon of the
'40s often wouldn't talk to her, a complaint that's easy to believe considering the way
DiMaggio adamantly guarded his privacy after retiring from baseball.
He maintained a high public profile as a corporate spokesman, including TV ads for Mr.
Coffee brewing machines. DiMaggio also served as a hitting instructor for the Oakland A's
and Yankees but never gave in-depth interviews, even though major book publishers had
lucrative, standing offers for a tell-all book.
But that wasn't DiMaggio's style, whose manner is perhaps best captured by the way he
retired in December 1951, after what was only his second sub-.300 season. The Yankees were
reported to have offered him $100,000 for another season, even if he had to severely limit
his playing time.
Asked how he could turn down such an offer, DiMaggio said simply, "I no longer have
The story then was the same as it is now.
Joltin' Joe has left and gone away.
Quotes on the death of Joe
By The Associated Press
Comments from the fans and others on the death of Joe DiMaggio:
''He was a classy individual. ... When he finished playing, he had a very special aura. He
had a lot of dignity about him besides being an excellent ballplayer.'' - Howard Fine, a
plastics manufacturer from Mamaroneck, N.Y.
''He was what baseball was all about before we got to that high-priced stuff.'' - George
Ladino, a Boston native now living in London who was traveling through New York's Grand
''It's the passing of a person from a time when baseball was the way it should be, when
there was a higher ethical and moral standard.'' - Doug Connor, a financial industry
worker from Irvington, N.Y.
''Joe DiMaggio was one man who truly epitomized the 'Hemingway Hero.' He confronted
adversity with grace under pressure.'' - Joe Dorinson, author of ''Jackie Robinson: Races,
Sports and the American Dream,'' which had a section comparing Robinson and DiMaggio.
''For several generations of baseball fans, Joe was the personification of grace, class
and dignity on the baseball diamond. His persona extended beyond the playing field and
touched all our hearts. In many respects, as an immigrant's son, he represented the hopes
and ideals of our great country.'' - Baseball commissioner Bud Selig.
''Like his many fans across America, and indeed, around the world, the Yankees are deeply
saddened by the passing of Joe DiMaggio, one of our own and one of the greatest of all
time. It was the class and dignity with which he led his life that made him part of all of
us.'' - Yankees owner George M. Steinbrenner.
''He was the kind of guy that exemplified what a major leaguer should be like, and act
like, and play like. ... He played the game with so much intensity. He played the game
with pride. He wore the Yankee uniform with dignity and character.'' - former LA Dodgers
manager Tommy Lasorda, interviewed on CNN.
''Where have you gone Joe DiMaggio? A nation turns its lonely eyes to you.'' - Paul
Simon's lament to lost heroes in ''Mrs. Robinson.''
Facts and figures of Joe
Nov. 25, 1914: Giuseppe Paolo (Joseph Paul) DiMaggio born to Giuseppe and Rosalie DiMaggio
in Martinez, Calif.
July 5, 1931: At 17, DiMaggio makes his debut with Rossi Olive Oil, a team in the Boys
Club-sponsored McNamara B Winter League, which is an amateur recreation league.
1932: Throughout the summer, he fills in with Sunset Produce, a Division A semipro club,
and the Avalons. Here he gains experience against older and better players. Late in the
season, he joins Baumgartens AA Club in the Recreation League. DiMaggio plays with older
brother Vincent for the last three games of the Pacific Coast League (PCL) season with the
San Francisco Seals.
1933: DiMaggio's career as an outfielder begins when he plays right field in the opening
May 28, 1933: DiMaggio starts a 61-game hitting streak in the second game of a
doubleheader against first-place Portland. He breaks the league record of 49 set by
Oakland's Jack Ness in 1915.
1934: In May, DiMaggio injures his knee after a family celebration of his streak. In a
game Aug. 10, he reinjures himself and has to sit out the rest of the season.
Nov. 23, 1934: The New York Yankees offer Seals owner Charlie Graham $25,000 and five
players for DiMaggio. The deal is mutually beneficial: DiMaggio plays with the Seals for
the 1935 season, Graham gets his five players and the Yankees take DiMaggio for '36 -- if
his knee holds up.
1935: DiMaggio is voted PCL Most Valuable Player. Abe Kemp of the San Francisco Examiner
writes, "Just a word about Joe DiMaggio, who has finally convinced me that he is the
greatest ballplayer I have ever seen graduate from the Pacific Coast League."
1936: DiMaggio begins his 13-year run with the Yankees. His brother Tom negotiates an
$8,500 contract, the highest salary New York ever offered a rookie. At the home opener,
DiMaggio plays left field and bats third in the lineup, Babe Ruth's old spot. Later in the
season, DiMaggio moves to Ruth's right-field position. By August, he moves again to center
1937: DiMaggio re-signs for double his rookie salary -- $17,000 a year. But the Yankees
recoup some of the money: They add seats in the right-field stands to accommodate fans now
attending games to see him.
July 5, 1937: The Yankees are tied 4-4 with Boston; the bases are loaded. DiMaggio hits it
long to left field. The ball lands in the bullpen. This is his first grand slam in the
major leagues. DiMaggio is voted player of the year by the Yankees and Baseball Magazine.
He collected the most votes for The Sporting News all-star team. This is the year DiMaggio
earned the nickname "Yankee Clipper." (Radio broadcaster Arch McDonald gives
DiMaggio the moniker because of the way he "appeared to glide across the outfield in
pursuit of fly balls.")
1939: DiMaggio earns his first batting title with a career-high .381. He makes what is
believed to be the best catch of his career -- a Hank Greenberg drive to the monuments in
left-center, behind the flagpole and in front of the 461-foot sign. DiMaggio ran about 200
feet to get to the ball.
Nov. 19, 1939: DiMaggio, 24, marries actress Dorothy Arnold, 21, at St. Peter and Paul
Cathedral in San Francisco.
1940: DiMaggio earns his second batting title with a .352 average. He also has 31 home
runs and 133 RBI in 132 games.
May 15, 1941: The Yankees play the Chicago White Sox at home and DiMaggio singles in one
of his four at-bats. He hits in the next 55 games. It is still a record. He hits .357 for
the season and is named MVP.
Oct. 23, 1941: DiMaggio's only child, Joseph Paul DiMaggio Jr., is born.
1942: DiMaggio has 186 hits and bats .305 in 154 games. On Dec. 3 he enlists in the Army
1943: DiMaggio, a staff sergeant, is a center fielder for the 7th Air Force team. (In
1944, it would play a Navy team that includes Johnny Mize at first and Pee Wee Reese at
Oct. 11, 1943: Dorothy DiMaggio files for divorce.
Sept. 14, 1945: DiMaggio is discharged.
1947: DiMaggio begins the year with surgery to remove a 3-inch bone spur from his left
heel. He ends it as MVP, batting .343 and making one error in 141 games.
1948: DiMaggio leads the league with 39 home runs and 155 RBI despite recurring pain from
a bone spur. He hits his 300th career home run this season.
1949: On Feb. 7, DiMaggio becomes the first $100,000 ballplayer. He earns his money this
season. Playing hurt (now his right heel) and exhausted (from a viral infection), DiMaggio
pulls himself out of the pennant-deciding game with the Boston Red Sox. The Yankees win
5-3 and go on to their 12th World Series title. He hits .346 for the season. His father,
Guiseppe, dies in May.
1950: DiMaggio plays in his ninth World Series in 12 years. His mother Rosalie, 72, dies.
1951: The Yankees play in -- and win -- another World Series. It would be DiMaggio's last.
On Dec. 11, he announces his retirement: "When baseball is no longer fun, it's no
longer a game. And so, I've played my last game." The legacy of his 13-year career:
2,214 hits, .325 batting average, 361 home runs and 1,537 RBI. He is arguably the most
elegant man to wear Yankees pinstripes.
1952: DiMaggio's number (5) is retired.
Jan. 14, 1954: DiMaggio weds actress Marilyn Monroe. The marriage lasts less than a year
(to Oct. 27) but the affection endures. After Monroe's death Aug. 5, 1962, DiMaggio
arranges the funeral. He never remarries and leaves roses at her grave weekly for 20
1955: DiMaggio is inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. He played on 10 pennant winners
and nine World Series champions in his career. He was an All-Star in all 13 years.
1967: DiMaggio begins a two-year stint as coach and consultant with the Oakland Athletics.
1969: In a nationwide poll, DiMaggio is voted baseball's greatest living player.
1972: DiMaggio becomes a spokesman for Mr. Coffee. He also made commercials for the
coffeemaker company in '74 and '84.
March 8, 1999: DiMaggio dies after a lengthy illness.
Quote: ''I want to thank the good Lord for making me a Yankee.'' - from remarks on Joe
DiMaggio Day at Yankee Stadium, Oct. 1, 1949.
Sources: USA TODAY research; wire reports; Dick Johnson and Glenn Stout, DiMaggio: An
Illustrated Life; Baseball Weekly
Compiled by Joan Murphy and Tammi Wark, USA TODAY
An appointment Joe D
By The Associated Press
Joe DiMaggio fell a month and a day short of another appearance at Yankee Stadium.
DiMaggio, who died Monday, had tacked to his bed a sign that said ''April 9,'' opening day
at Yankee Stadium, where he was supposed to throw out the first ball.
''Five days ago, on March 2, I visited with Joe at his home in Hollywood, Fla. He was weak
but spirited and alert,'' said George Steinbrenner, the New York Yankees' owner. ''I told
him, 'Joe, you have a date with the Yankees on opening day. We are counting on you to
throw out the first ball.'
''He just smiled.''
DiMaggio made a lot of people smile, as was apparent by the tributes that began pouring in
minutes after his death was announced.
He also transcended baseball, much like Michael Jordan in basketball a half-century later,
and was a spokesman long after he retired for a variety of products, including Mr. Coffee.
In New York's Grand Central Station, a bank he endorsed simply posted the pinstriped
And he reached fans and non-fans as an American hero.
''Even though I was never one of those people who cared about baseball, I care a lot about
Joe DiMaggio,'' said former New York Mayor Ed Koch, who grew up in the city during
''He represented the best in America. It was his character, his generosity, his
sensitivity. He was someone who set a standard every father would want his children to
People in the sport agreed.
''His persona extended beyond the playing field and touched all our hearts,'' baseball
commissioner Bud Selig said. ''In many respects, as an immigrant's son, he represented the
hopes and ideals of our great country.
''I idolized him from afar as a child growing up in Milwaukee. In later years, when I had
the opportunity to become acquainted with him, my admiration grew. Being with him was an
event, bringing on an air of excitement, anticipation and joy.''
Tommy Lasorda, former Los Angeles Dodgers manager, suggested that DiMaggio's record
56-game hitting streak may stand for another 100 years, unlike Babe Ruth and Roger Maris'
home run records and Lou Gehrig's consecutive-game streak.
''He was always kind of shy,'' Lasorda said of DiMaggio. ''He felt uncomfortable with a
lot of people, but yet he was always there as a tremendous representative of our game of
baseball. He was an icon.''
In Albany, a bill is before the New York legislature to rename the city's West Side
Highway for DiMaggio.
''I'm comforted, as are all New Yorkers, that we informed him before he died that the West
Side Highway will be renamed the Joe DiMaggio Highway,'' said Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, a
longtime Yankees fan.
''As long as baseball is played, Joe DiMaggio will exemplify the very best.''
In Cooperstown, N.Y., the Hall of Fame flag was at half-staff and a wreath was placed on
The Hall has also scheduled special DiMaggio video programming for March, put a tribute on
its Web site and is planning an exhibit.
It will include the glove that outfielder Al Gionfriddo of the Brooklyn Dodgers used when
he robbed DiMaggio of an extra base hit with a spectacular running catch in the 1947 World
Series, and DiMaggio's contract for 1948, the first in sports to reach $100,000. Even the
pen is there.
The man they looked up to
Even to present Yankees, DiMaggio was unapproachable
TAMPA, Fla. David Cone never asked Joe DiMaggio for his autograph. He was too
afraid, so he went out and bought a dozen from a collector.
"I don't remember what the exact price was, but it was a lot," the New York
Yankees pitcher said Monday, recalling the purchase about a year ago.
"He really lived up to his billing. He was the greatest living player. He just had
such a dignity and an elegance about him that nobody can match in today's game. Even the
greatest players in today's game can't match that elegance that he had. He's one of a
DiMaggio, who died Monday at his South Florida home, played for 10 pennant winners and
nine World Series champions with the Yankees.
Fans visiting the spring training complex placed flowers in front of a monument for him
outside Legends Field, and the No. 5 was stitched onto the left sleeve of each player's
The Yankees ran a 90-second videotape of DiMaggio highlights before observing a moment of
silence before the start of Monday night's game against the Philadelphia Phillies.
"Joe DiMaggio is baseball. He's a national hero," said Sandra De Santis, a
Highland Park, N.J. mother, whose 11-year-old son Gregory placed a bouquet is front of the
plaque that reads:
"From 1936-51, Joe led the Yankees through their most dominating era. His excellence
on the field propelled the Bombers to 10 World Series and his graceful stroke was one of
baseball's greatest pleasures."
By early afternoon, the Yankees posted a security guard to keep TV cameramen and early
arriving fans off the grass in front of the monument, which is part of a tribute to
all-time club greats.
Later, the club placed a huge spray of flowers and a painting of DiMaggio at the site.
"Very few people touched so many generations and so many lives. He had a tremendous
impact on so many people. He was part of the fabric of America," general manager
Brian Cashman said.
DiMaggio's 56-game hitting streak in 1941 is considered one of the greatest records in
sports, and current Yankees marveled about the mystique that set him apart from other Hall
"I met him a few times," Cone said. "He told me that he'd seen me pitch and
sometimes I looked unhittable and sometimes I looked hittable. I didn't know how to take
that. But just the fact he knew who I was was enough for me."
Catcher Joe Girardi talked about what a thrill it was to have his picture taken with
DiMaggio when he threw out the first pitch during a playoff game in 1996. Darryl
Strawberry predicted no one will ever hit safely in 56 straight game again, while Derek
Jeter described DiMaggio as "everything a ballplayer would want to be."
Jeter, noting DiMaggio was an intensely private person, said most players were reluctant
to approach him during his occasional trips to Yankee Stadium.
That, however, didn't mean they didn't soak up as much of the Yankee Clipper as they
"He had more presence than anybody I ever met. When he was around, you knew it.
Everybody lit up. The whole clubhouse would be abuzz when Joe D. walked in," Cone
Longtime baseball executive Arthur Richman, now a senior adviser to the Yankees, recalled
DiMaggio as a friend and one of the fiercest competitors in the game.
"I started watching him in 1936. I always said the greatest player I ever saw was
Babe Ruth. But he was in a class by himself. He was the greatest home run hitter that ever
lived and he was a great pitcher. How many guys would pitch and hit home runs?"
"When it came down to the greatest player, I think about (Stan) Musial, and (Willie)
Mays and (Ted) Williams," he said. "But DiMaggio was the one man, if my life
depended on it, I'd want at the plate to get that base hit in the ninth inning. And he did
so many times."
We will never know his kind
The Clipper's mystery built the myth
By Art Spander
FOX Sports Online
NEW YORK He was a reminder of innocence lost and championships won, of a time when
the country had heroes, not superstars; of an era when modesty was in vogue and privacy
was in style.
He was a celebrity in a pre-celebrity culture.
We didn't know everything about Joe DiMaggio, and that was part of the attraction. We knew
about his records. And his background. And his work ethic.
We knew that he was elegant and diffident, and that he never made an easy catch look
But we didn't know what transpired behind closed doors, or sometimes even in front of open
ones, and that was all for the best because it is mystery, as well as mastery, that helped
construct the myth.
In the final line of his final column, the great Red Smith wrote, "I told myself not
to worry; that someday there would be another DiMaggio."
The suggestion was more a remembrance of things past than a forecast of things possible.
There will never be another DiMaggio. Red Smith knew it. We all knew it.
Society has changed, and not necessarily for the better.
Legends do not flourish under the scrutiny of the television camera. The bright lights
display multi-millionaire athletes in Armani being led to and from courthouses by
high-priced lawyers. We're assaulted with stories of player selfishness and owner greed,
bombarded by tell-all books in which players trash their teammates and demand all the
credit for themselves. Even the greatest current icon, Michael Jordan, has not been given
immunity from the harsh glare of the public spotlight.
But to the end, DiMaggio the Legend remained properly enigmatic, tantalizingly private.
There would be no declarative autobiography, no appearances on talk shows. There would be
only silence and the memory of how he played the game.
Baseball owned America in the 1940s and early 1950s, and Joe DiMaggio owned baseball.
Rogers and Hammerstein evoked his name in the lyrics in "South Pacific." Every
boy grew up idolizing "Joltin' Joe." And for good reason.
He came out of the Great Depression and into World War II, symbol of a nation advancing
from one struggle to another, prototype of a time that was glorious in memory if not
exactly in fact.
There was nothing contrived, whether in his play or his nickname, "The Yankee
Clipper." What could be more appropriate, more descriptive? He sailed along through
waters troubled and untroubled.
He rarely showed emotion. "It wouldn't look right," explained DiMaggio.
DiMaggio never told anybody how good he was. His skills spoke volumes. He never got into a
brawl. He had the aspect of a Greek god. Ted Williams, another great player of the time,
said DiMaggio even looked good striking out, not that Joe struck out very often. DiMaggio
was sunlit afternoons on green fields in a time that now seems tinged with gold. We had
never heard of expansion, of free agency, of franchise moves, of night World Series games.
We had never heard of downsizing and disloyalty and terrorist bombings.
"Where have you gone Joe DiMaggio?" asked Paul Simon's lyrics. It was a
metaphorical search for our past, a generational lament. "A nation turns its lonely
eyes to you . . . " Now he is gone, along with our youth.
A fisherman's son who lived the American Dream. He rose above his beginnings. He cared
about his image. In his last season, 1951, he was asked why he didn't coast a bit, take it
easy. "Because," answered DiMaggio, "there may be some kid who never saw me
Isn't that what it's all about? To go every day and give one's best, to fight the good
fight? That's what DiMaggio did.
He was self-effacing, the embodiment of what a great athlete is supposed to be, a role
model if you will. "I never want to hurt anyone's feelings," he said once.
"And I don't want to be embarrassed."
He rarely was. At least as far as we understood, and that is what counted. He was someone
in who to believe, the embodiment of dignity. Even when persuaded some 50 years ago to do
a book on himself, DiMaggio found it difficult to be egotistical. He titled it,
"Lucky to be a Yankee."
Truth to tell, it was the Yankees who were lucky to have DiMaggio. Along with the rest of
We will never know his kind again.