Joe DiMaggio – The Yankee Clipper

Joltin’ Joe DiMaggio – The Yankee Clipper

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Joltin' Joe DiMaggio, Yankee Clipper

Joltin’ Joe DiMaggio, 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

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Article Source: EzineArticles.com

The Joe DiMaggio Story

 

Yankee Clipper captivated country with 56-game hitting streak

Article by Ben Platt

It’s hard to believe that it will be 70 years that Joe DiMaggio set the baseball world on fire with his record 56-game hitting streak. Author Kostya Kennedy chronicles the streak and the complicated life of the Yankee Clipper in his book “56: Joe DiMaggio and the Last Magic Number in Sports,” which is in bookstores now.

“To me, [the streak] has been around forever,” said Kennedy, who is a senior editor at Sports Illustrated. “It’s been a part of my baseball fan life. It harkens back to a different time and a different era. The streak seems like it has been ever-present.”

According to Kennedy, the streak is what defined DiMaggio and made him the revered baseball legend he is today.

Joe DiMaggio, The Yankee Clipper

“When the hitting streak began in 1941, he was a terrific player — arguably the best player in the game,” said Kennedy. “This is the event that turned him from baseball star to an American icon. He became that summer a person your grandmother says, ‘Hey, did Joe get a hit today?’ There was a song written about him, he’s in the newsreels, and he really pops and becomes the Joe DiMaggio who has gone down in legend and legacy.”

The Yankees center fielder had been with the team for five seasons, playing his first 3 1/2 years in the shadow of Lou Gehrig, who had abruptly retired in 1939 when he was stricken with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, today commonly known as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease.” In a twist of fate, the Iron Horse would pass away during DiMaggio’s streak.

The book is about more than just DiMaggio. It covers the remarkable summer of 1941, when the Yankee Clipper and Boston’s Ted Williams emerged as two of the greatest hitters the game had ever seen. DiMaggio would have his streak; Williams would become the last player to hit .400 in a season, finishing with a .406 average.

“Williams’ feat of hitting .400 was really getting overlooked,” said Kennedy. “Of course people knew it, and of course it was being written about, but people were turning out to see Joe during his streak, and they weren’t necessarily coming out to see Williams, who wasn’t an impact draw, even though he was hitting .400.

“The two of them spent some time together during the All-Star Game, which was when Joe’s streak was about 48 and Williams was hitting about 50 or 60 points higher at that point. Williams won that All-Star Game with a home run, and the two of them were together in the clubhouse afterwards.

Ted Williams Red Sox and Joe DiMaggio New York Yankee

“The beginning of their rivalry/relationship was really that [year], when they both would end up having their signature seasons.”

Kennedy also goes into great detail about how America, which was already bracing itself for World War II, used the streak as a diversion. Yankees home games were not broadcast on radio in 1941, so fans across the country would follow DiMaggio through radio updates, newsreels and newspaper reports.

“Fans would go to the movies on a Saturday and there would be a 10-minute newsreel beforehand, and in these newsreels they see reports about the Nazis moving across Europe into Russia and submarines are being sunk off the coast of wherever,” said Kennedy. “Then, they would see Joe DiMaggio’s hitting streak is at 44 games.

“He’s right there in the middle of everything and very much a part of the fabric. It was sort of a relief for people. It’s a time [when] we’re not in the war, but we’re getting close — it was just a matter of time. All the 21-year-olds were getting drafted. It was a very tentative, fragile time, and DiMaggio added a bit of hope, a bit of levity for people. They wanted him to succeed.”

Kennedy also describes in the book the physical and mental toll the streak took on the 26-year-old, who never let anyone see any emotion on the playing field.

“I hope readers see DiMaggio in a new light,” said the author. “I hope they are taken back to a different time and a very important time in our history, and I hope there’s a narrative that keeps people interested and [shows] the magnitude of this event. To me, it is the greatest sports achievement of all-time.”

Ben Platt is a national correspondent for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Article Source: EzineArticles.com