No announcement yet.

November 21, 1934: Yankees Purchase Joe DiMaggio's Contract

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    November 21, 1934: Yankees Purchase Joe DiMaggio's Contract

    "The Yankees purchase future Hall of Fame outfielder Joe DiMaggio's contract from the San Francisco Seals of the Pacific Coast League for $50,000 and five players. The son of Italian immigrants, who set a PCL mark last season when he hit 61 consecutive contests, will be one of the three brothers to play in the major leagues. "

    Joe DiMaggio:
    Excerpts from the article:

    "Joe DiMaggio was a cultural icon. He married Hollywood starlets Marilyn Monroe and Dorothy Arnold and he was immortalized in Paul Simon’s hit song Mrs. Robinson; to a generation he was the face of Mister Coffee, and he was regarded as one of the greatest players who ever played the game. He was an American hero. Hall of Fame teammate Phil Rizzuto recalled: "There was an aura about him. He walked like no one else walked. He did things so easily. He was immaculate in everything he did. Kings of State wanted to meet him and be with him. He carried himself so well. He could fit in any place in the world.”

    "The son of a San Francisco fisherman, Joe was the eighth of nine children – and his brothers Vince and Dom were also Major League All-Stars. Of his on field accomplishments, perhaps none are more notable than his 56-game hitting streak in 1941. However, that streak was not the longest of his professional career. In 1933, as a member of the San Francisco Seals of the Pacific Coast League, DiMaggio put together a 61-game hitting streak."

    "DiMaggio was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1955."

    "If you saw him play, you’ll never forget him. No one ran with such unhurried grace. His gifts as an athlete were marvelous because they were subdued. Here was an outfielder who followed a fly ball with a deft serenity as though his progress had been plotted by a choreographer concerned only with the defeat of awkwardness. " [Jimmy Cannon, N.Y. Journal American]

    Joe DiMaggio - Baseball Hall of Fame Biographies


    Joe DiMaggio: Deadpan Joe from the Coast
    Excerpts from the article:

    "With three games left in their 1932 schedule, the Seals found themselves short-handed when a couple of the regulars jumped ship to barnstorm in Hawaii. Vince [DiMaggio] recommended his younger brother Joe to the manager as a fill-in shortstop. Just 17 at the time, Joe was already a neighborhood legend for the way he could hit the hell out of the ball. The younger DiMaggio batted just .222 in 9 at bats, but remember, he was still a teen and was playing in what could almost pass as a third major league. Anyway, it was good enough to merit a call back the next spring when the Seals opened their training camp."

    "THE FIRST THING the Seals did was move Joe to the outfield; he had a great arm but was wild. In the outfield they could make better use of his long legs and that strong arm would be an asset instead of a liability. Free from the pressure to perform in the infield, DiMaggio concentrated now at destroying the Pacific Coast League pitching. On May 28th, he went 1 for 4 against the Portland Beavers, and continued to have a hit in every game for the next 61 games! "

    "SO, JOE’S FIRST full season in organized ball not only saw him shattering the league record for hitting safely in continuous games, but he also hit a monstrous .340 with 28 home runs. Not bad for an 18 year-old! "

    "THE NEXT YEAR, Joe’s career almost ended as quickly as it began. The official story went he was getting out of a cab while visiting his sister and twisted his knee in the gutter between the taxi and curb...the result was that he tore all the ligaments in his knee, a possibly career-ending injury back in 1934. Surgery for such an injury didn’t come about until decades later, and all the doctors could do was put him in a cast and hope for the best."

    "Because of his 61 game streak and great season the year before, Joe DiMaggio was already a known name in the baseball world, regarded as the next big thing. The Red Sox, Dodgers, Cubs, Indians and Giants had all put in bids for the 19 year-old, but now their scouts warned them to keep their distance. "

    "As Joe sat on the sidelines hoping for the best, one team remained interested. This particular ballclub, known for their shrewd headhunting of talent, recognized that the best baseball prospect in the land could now be had for a bargain basement price."

    "Their scouts quietly took the wounded prodigy to a battery of doctors who all gave the thumbs-up for a full recovery. Unaware of the positive prognosis, the disappointed Seals ownership agreed to sell their biggest attraction for a quarter of what they were asking before the accident. A $25,000 check was cut, five bush league nobodies were transferred to Frisco, and Joseph “Deadpan Joe” DiMaggio became property of the New York Yankees."

    "DIMAGGIO FINISHED his minor league career by batting a colossal .398 with 34 home runs as the Seals won the pennant and he was voted the league’s MVP. By this time, there was no doubt Deadpan Joe from the Coast was ready for the big time..."

    Joe DiMaggio: (Biography)
    Excerpts from the article:

    "Joe DiMaggio was one of the most recognizable and popular men in mid-twentieth century America. He was celebrated in song and literature as an iconic hero, and he was married, briefly, to the nation’s number one glamour girl. On March 16, 1999, the House of Representatives passed a resolution honoring him “for his storied baseball career; for his many contributions to the nation throughout his lifetime; and for transcending baseball and becoming a symbol for the ages of talent, commitment and achievement.”

    "But first and foremost Joe DiMaggio was a ballplayer. Known as the Yankee Clipper, he was the undisputed leader of New York Yankees teams that won nine World Series titles in his 13-year career that ran from 1936 to 1951, with three years lost to duty in World War II."

    "As the son of immigrants, he was the embodiment of the American Dream, a rags-to-riches story played out in pinstripes."

    "DiMaggio was the classic five-tool player; in addition to hitting for average and power, he could run, throw, and field. Joe McCarthy, the Yankees manager from 1931 to 1946, called him the best base runner he ever saw. His all-around play led the 1936 Yankees to the first of four straight World Series titles. The 21-year-old sensation had established himself as the successor to Babe Ruth. After the Series, he received a hero’s welcome in his home town of San Francisco, where Mayor Angelo Rossi gave him the key to the city."

    "On February 17, 1943, DiMaggio enlisted in the Army Air Force. Like many other major leaguers, he never saw combat, serving instead in a morale-boosting role by playing on service baseball squads. In June 1944 he was sent to Hawaii, where he continued to play ball but also spent several weeks in a Honolulu hospital suffering from stomach ulcers. After being sent back to the mainland, he was granted a medical discharge in September 1945."

    "In his career, DiMaggio, hit .325 with 361 home runs, 1,537 RBIs, and for a .579 slugging average. He was an All-Star in each of his 13 seasons and, in addition to winning three MVP Awards, he finished in the top nine seven other times. Perhaps more impressive than any other statistic is the fact that in 6,821 times at bat, he struck out 369 times — only eight more than his total number of home runs — for an average of once every 18.5 times at bat."

    "In the eyes of his contemporaries, Joe DiMaggio was universally considered the best player they had ever seen. Even his arch-rival, Ted Williams, said, “I have always felt I was a better hitter than Joe, but I have to say that he was the greatest baseball player of our time. He could do it all.” Stan Musial, the often overlooked third member of the great triad of the 1940s and 1950s, said: “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.” Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Red Smith called DiMaggio “indisputably the finest ballplayer of his time.”

    "DiMaggio was an intensely private man who never felt completely comfortable in his role as hero. Before he became a national icon, he bore the additional, and unwanted, burden of being the great hero of Americans of Italian descent. Yankees pitcher Lefty Gomez, a close friend, said, “All the Italians in America adopted him. Just about every day at home and on the road there would be an invitation from some Italian-American club.”

    "Joe DiMaggio enjoyed a resurgence of fame and adulation in his post-baseball life. His legend was enhanced when, in January 1954, he once again made headlines by marrying Marilyn Monroe. But the ill-fated union of two of America’s most celebrated personalities lasted only nine months. DiMaggio had naively expected the film star to become a devoted housewife. According to Joe’s brother, Dom, “Her career was first. Joe could not condone the things that Marilyn had to do. Joe wanted a wife he could raise children with. She could not do that.” But DiMaggio, who remained devoted to Monroe, held out hope that they would remarry. “Joe had wanted that relationship to work,” said Dom. “He held on to it for the rest of his life.” When Monroe died in 1962, Joe took charge of her funeral and ordered that roses be placed at her crypt twice a week."

    "On October 12, 1998, DiMaggio was admitted to Regional Memorial Hospital in Hollywood, Florida, where he had been living for many years. (It was the same hospital where the Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital had been established.) Two days later he underwent surgery for lung cancer and never fully recovered. He died at his home on March 8, 1999, at the age of 84."

    "The answer to Paul Simon’s question — Where has Joe DiMaggio gone? — remains the same: Nowhere. He remains firmly lodged in the American consciousness as a stylish symbol of a time when baseball was the undisputed national pastime and America was enjoying unprecedented prosperity. On April 25, 1999, two months after his death, DiMaggio’s monument was unveiled in Yankee Stadium’s Monument Park, joining those honoring Miller Huggins, Lou Gehrig, Babe Ruth, and Mickey Mantle. The inscription reads, in part, “A Baseball Legend and An American Icon.”


    Joe DiMaggio (1980): (Available Audio)

    July 17, 1941: Joe DiMaggio Ends 56-Game Hitting Streak:
    "The Yankee is one who, if he once gets his teeth set on a thing, all creation can't make him let go." Ralph Waldo Emerson