Joltin’ Joe DiMaggio – The Yankee Clipper
Joltin’ Joe was surely the most complete baseball player of his generation. But he was more than that. Baseball has produced many sports legends but it has produced only one DiMaggio. DiMaggio proved to be iconic as much off as on the field, an lasting emblem of baseball excellence, loved and esteemed by Americans fully, half century after his ultimate game in 1952. A man of class.
Born of Italian immigrants, Giuseppe (Joe) DiMaggio, the eighth of nine children, was born Nov. twenty five, 1914, in Martinez a fishing village north of San Fransisco where his dad was a fisherman. The five DiMaggio boys worked with their dad fishing for crab. Joe did not like the work and tried to avoid it. Baseball eventually did the trick.
A new Yankees dynasty began with DiMaggio’s arrival on the scene in 1936 following three years in the minors. With Joe at center field they were once again world champions that year. DiMaggio and the Yankees won the World Series each of his first four years in the majors and over his full career Joe won nine of a potential thirteen World Series. that’s like batting.690!
When Joe appeared on the field for the first time, on May 3, 1936, thousands of flag-waving Italian residents of New York showed up to cheer him on.
DiMaggio soon became known as “Joltin’ Joe” for the power of his bat and “The Yankee Clipper” for the speedy clippers that crossed the Atlantic Ocean under sail. DiMaggio hit a league leading 46 homers in 1936. Over his 13 year career the total was 361.
In 1937 DiMaggio batted an impressive.346, driving in 167 runs. The next season, 1938, DiMaggio hit.324, followed in 1939 with a.381.
In the summer of 1941, a nation had turned its eyes to him. DiMaggio began a fifty-six-game batting streak starting on May fifteen, 1941. He got a hit in every game Joe played until July 17, 1941. Everyone it seemed was following the streak be it on radio or through the newspapers, wondering how far he could stretch it out.
“Joltin’ Joe DiMaggio ” was a big hit on radio in those same days, as recorded by Lees Brown and his orchestra.
As if to prove it was not a fluke, Joe followed the great streak with a second one that lasted sixteen strait games.
During the 1942 season DiMaggio batted.305 before being drafted into the army and the Second World War. After serving three years in the army and World War II Joe returned to the Yankees in 1946.
1948 saw him back in full form winning three individual titles, homers with 39, batting average with.320 and RBI’s with 155. Joltin’ Joe was back!
When Joe retired in 1951, he had a lifetime average of.325, down from the.339 it had been before Joe served three years in the military during World War II.
After baseball came Marilyn Monroe, whom he met and married. He was 39, she twenty seven when they married on Jan. fourteen, 1954. They divorced nine months later but remained good friends. Joe took charge of everything after her tragic death in 1964 and was often seen placing flowers on her grave for decades thereafter.
His fame was recorded in song. Simon and Garfunkel wanted to express a longing for another gentler time in their big hit “Mrs. Robinson” and wrote, “Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio? A nation turns its lonely eyes to you.”
After DiMaggio retired Joe hosted pre-game TV shows, game shows and made numerous television commercials that Americans loved to see. Joe was elected to the Baseball Hall of fame in 1955.
On March 8th, 1999 DiMaggio passed away at his home in Hollywood Florida at age 95.
Joe was always a modest man and always worked to play his best game even when faced with health problems. The Yankee Clipper is remembered with admiration not only by sports fans, but by all who know his story.
A New York commentator may have put it best, “DiMaggio remains a living symbol of excellence, power and to be sure, gentleness.”
Joltin’ Joe may well have been the finest of his day. To watch today’s best at play Just Click Here [http://www.buy-cheap-tickets.us] for great MLB tickets at bargain prices.
Article Source: EzineArticles
Article Source: EzineArticles.com