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  • Joe DiMaggio Thread

    Joe DiMaggio was a truly great, historical player. High time for a tribute thread to The Yankee Clipper. Hope this attracts great stories/anacdotes on the great Joe D.
    151
    I rank Joe D. a Top 10 Player.
    24.50%
    37
    I rank Joe D. a Top 15 Player.
    23.84%
    36
    I rank Joe D. a Top 20 Player.
    26.49%
    40
    I rank Joe D. lower than Top 20 Player.
    13.91%
    21
    I rank Joe a Top 10 Hitter.
    18.54%
    28
    I rank Joe a Top 15 Hitter.
    16.56%
    25
    I rank Joe a Top 20 Hitter.
    20.53%
    31
    I rank Joe lower than Top 20 Hitter.
    7.95%
    12
    I rank Joe the Greatest Player between 1936-50.
    17.88%
    27
    I rank Joe above Ted Williams as a Player.
    13.91%
    21
    I rank Joe below Ted Williams as a Player.
    49.67%
    75
    I rank Joe above Stan Musial as a Player.
    20.53%
    31
    I rank Joe below Stan Musial as a Player.
    35.76%
    54
    I consider Joe the better player while he played, but below Ted/Stan as players, due to longevity.
    17.22%
    26
    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 09-22-2007, 05:13 PM.

  • #2
    Originally posted by DiMag4Life
    Here's a clip of Joe D. If you want to check out his swing, go to the 2:28 mark, it's old footage of DiMaggio swings up until the 3:38 mark
    That swing! There is a visciousness about that swing that I always felt was unique. I think it's because he stood so still waiting on the pitch and then exploded on it all in one motion, unlike most hitters who wave the bat or have a little hitch they do as the pitch approaches?

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by PeteReiser View Post
      That swing! There is a visciousness about that swing that I always felt was unique. I think it's because he stood so still waiting on the pitch and then exploded on it all in one motion, unlike most hitters who wave the bat or have a little hitch they do as the pitch approaches?
      Y'know, that's a good point. I think that's why old timers remember him so vividly. You just don't forget a swing like that. :cap:

      Comment


      • #4
        Another DiMag video, a little similar to the last one.


        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QMP5qqacvMk
        Last edited by DiMag4Life; 01-01-2008, 05:50 PM.

        Comment


        • #5
          Article written by Jimmy Cannon titled "Could Mantle Make 'Em forget Joe? Forget it."


          "Wouldn't it be a shame if Mickey Mantle made them forget Joe?"

          That question, posed at the beginning of an April 1951 column by Jimmy Cannon of the New York Post, came on the eve of a season in which Mickey Mantle made his major league debut and Joe DiMaggio ended his career.

          Cannon proceeded to answer the question:

          Anyone who ever saw Joe DiMaggio play ball should remember him always. It could end now and they still couldn't forget him. Only a few men have what Joe has and brought with him to the big leagues. There was nothing they could teach him when he came up. It was there, big and clear. There never was any doubt about it. The record books will not substantiate the claim that he has been the greatest of his age. Other guys hit for higher averages, struck more home runs. But this is the whole ballplayer, complete and great. There are no defects to discuss except his age.

          The ballplayers, trying to be what he is, know how superior he is. On the field Joe performs without passion, but he has a stately grace. Only Joe Louis matched his pure athlete's dignity. Many times, watching him from the press box, I wondered what this man would have been if he hadn't come into baseball. But there seems no other trade for him.

          It may sound sentimental and foolishly romantic, but this was a guy who was born to be a ballplayer. I can't imagine him doing anything else. Joe is a man who was meant to play ball on hot afternoons on the grass of big cities. He doesn't belong in the rain.

          You who pay your way into ballparks will probably never forget him coming up with the bases full and hitting a home run off Bob Feller in the Stadium ... Drifting back after a fly ball with that slow and marvelous certainty ... Going from first to third on a single, his long neck arched and running round-shouldered ... Occasionally being called out on a 3-2 pitch and going back to the dugout without a protest ... Hobbling, crippled and in pain, around the outfield with the chipped bones in his foot making it seem like he was walking on slivers of glass ... Playing in a World Series, weak from pneumonia ... Doing what he had to do when the time came ... Standing up and proving his greatness every time there was a crisis ... Making a speech at home plate and apologizing to the people in the bleachers because the microphones made him turn his back to them ... Three times the league's Most Valuable Player ... A life-time average of .329 ... Nine World Series ... The All-Star team every year ... Hitting in 56 consecutive games in 1941 ... Doing it every day and making it easier than it is ... Being the leader of the Yankees no matter who the manager was ... Winning sometimes with his presence alone because the other people knew how good he was and choked up a little.

          On the road trip, the first time around the league, he was a quiet kid but friendly. There were some who insisted he was inaccessible then and suspicious. But I found him easy to be with and his constant companions were Lefty Gomez and Pat Malone. We had a lot of laughs that first season, but Joe quit early on the road. There was a banquet for him in every town he played. Old men of Italian descent, who never saw a ballgame before, turned out in big crowds. They liked it better in the bleachers because they were nearer to him.

          There was the time in Detroit when he asked me if I liked Italian food and I said I did. The season was '36. "Meet me in the lobby after the game," Joe said. "They're giving me a dinner in a spaghetti joint. It's great food."

          I came down into the lobby and asked one of the Yankees where Joe was. They told me he was in the dining room. He was eating a steak, a mixed green salad and french-fried potatoes.

          "If the Italian food's so good," I asked him, "why are you ducking it?" "I'm just having a little snack," Joe explained.

          He went to the Italian restaurant and never passed up a course and asked for seconds on the spaghetti. He led the league with the knife and fork then.

          No matter what Mickey Mantle does I'll always remember ... Fishing for sail with him in the Gulf ... Walking down Broadway and the delight he causes when they recognize him ... Sitting with him in his apartment at the Edison Hotel when his leg was in a cast and listening to the ballgames at the Stadium ... Drinking Coke with him after the ballgames in front of his locker at the Stadium ... Nights at the dog track in St. Pete ... The late Eddie Duchin, who was his friend, playing a special concert for Joe in the private room upstairs in Shor's ... Listening to him explain why his brother Dom was the best ballplayer in the family ... Telling bedtime stories to his son ... Remembering DiMaggio never lied to me ... Or broke his word ... Or hurt anyone to make himself a bigger man.

          You don't forget a guy like this.

          Comment


          • #6
            "Joe D. in 1949. Eight workouts and then socko"



            "Babe Ruth alone could match Joe's flair for drama, for putting on a show and responding to an occasion. (But) not even Ruth would have put on the kind of demonstration DiMaggio staged (in Boston).

            "Eight workouts and then socko. ... The answer is this: The man is a pro."

            Yankees manager Casey Stengel, obviously in awe, was reflecting on Joe DiMaggio's return to the New York lineup after the Yankee Clipper missed the first 65 games of the 1949 season because of a heel injury.

            DiMaggio played his first game of the '49 season on June 28 -- and highlighted a Yankees victory over the Red Sox with a two-run homer. The next day, he walloped two homers at Fenway Park -- one a three-run shot and the other a bases-empty game-winner -- as New York rebounded from a 7-1 deficit to win, 9-7. And in the series finale -- another Yankees win -- he smashed a three-run homer.

            Considering his nine RBIs in the three games, DiMaggio was asked if he could have come back sooner.

            "Young man, I am no jake. Remember that," DiMaggio said with a laugh.

            Another reporter wondered how DiMaggio could possibly have been in such a groove in his first appearance of the season.

            "(I) just go up and swing and manage to hit the ball," he said. "There is, of course, no skill involved."
            Last edited by DiMag4Life; 11-16-2007, 06:12 PM.

            Comment


            • #7
              DiMag bows out after 16 years as Bomber

              By Dan Daniel
              The Sporting News

              December 19, 1951

              At 2 p.m., Tuesday, December 11, in the 745 Fifth Avenue offices of the Yankees, Mickey Mantle was installed as the new center fielder of the Bombers by Casey Stengel.

              Joseph Paul DiMaggio, for 13 of his 16 years on the New York roster, with three out for Army service, just had announced retirement, and no sooner had he made his move than Casey Stengel came along with his ring out the old, ring in the new.

              In a press conference during the minor league meeting in Columbus, Stengel had said, "If DiMaggio retires, it will be Mantle or Jackie Jensen in center."

              In the immediate wake of the DiMaggio announcement. Casey said, "My center field plans start with Mantle. In Columbus, I had to bracket him with Jensen because I was douhtful about Mickey's right knee, injured in the second game of the World's Series.

              "Now I have no each uncertainty. I have been assured by Dr. Sidney Gaynor, as well as Dr. George Bennett of Johns Hopkins, that Mantle will be in fine condition when we summon him to our St. Petersburg (Fla.) training camp.

              "I do not, at this time, expect to have Mantle work out in the preliminary camp at Lake Wales, Fla., which will open February 12. 1 plan to have Mickey report with the first squad at St. Petersburg on February 22. However, all this will be worked out later.

              "Mantle has youth, only 21, the age at which DiMaggio reported to Joe McCarthy in 1936.

              "Mantle has speed. He is a hitter. He learns fast. He is eager. But, unlike DiMaggio in 1936, Mickey is green. He has been an outfielder for only one season. Joe came to the Yankees from tremendous successes with San Francisco."

              Doubtful About Trade


              Asked if it were likely that the Yankees would make a deal for an experienced center fielder, Stengel replied:

              "I do not believe we will make a trade before the opening of training. In fact, right now all trades are off insofar as I am concerned."

              With Mantle moving over to center field, and Jensen his understudy, Stengel will start training with Hank Bauer, Gene Woodling, Bob Cerv and Archie Wilson as availables for the other positions.

              Cerv, whose arm is not too highly regarded, may be thrown into the first base scramble.

              The retirement of DiMaggio surprised many. To others it was no surprise at all.

              The Clipper hit .263 last season, with 12 homers and 71 runs driven in, a record good enough to encourage him to play another year with the Bombers.

              However, the prideful Joe did not like the idea of lingering for a complete fadeout. Besides, as he revealed in the December 11 press conference, "Old Injuries caught up with me, and brought on new ones. I found that it was a chore for me to straighten up after I had retrieved a ground ball. In short, I was not pleased with myself any longer, and all the fun had gone out of playing the game."

              Joe was out of work exactly 24 hours. When DiMag told the world he had played his last game, Dan Topping said Joe would be retained "in some capacity" by the club. And the next day Topping announced that the Yankees had hired the former center fielder as the Stadium television narrator. The contract calls for a before-and-after game job, the stint formerly filled by Dizzy Dean.

              After DiMaggio told the press and radio men of his decision, December 11, Topping said: "Del (Webb) and I worked on Joe until 10 o'clock last night, trying to talk him into remaining as a player, but he was firm.

              "Then we talked television with him."

              Joe admitted that he had received many TV and radio propositions and was interested in the Stadium job. He said he'd "like to loaf for a year, but I can't afford it," with a chuckle.

              On December 12, Topping announced Joe had been signed for the video work. It is believed that with outside commitments, and possibly a play-by-play program added to his before-and-after-game stuff, The Clipper will better the $100,000 a year he got as the champions' center fielder. And the club still will be cashing in on Joe's popularity.

              The press conference in which Joe announced his retirement was without precedent in size and confusion.

              The writers were far outnumbered by the newsreel, radio and TV specialists. The sandwiches, coffee and cheese cake had to be replenished thrice.

              DiMaggio first issued a formal, typed statement, and then sat down and answered questions.

              Recalls Spring Prediction


              The statement referred to the interview which Joe gave to three evening newspaper writers in his quarters in the Adams Hotel in Phoenix, Aria., last February. That was the interview in which he said, "This could be my last year." Joe explained that he knew then it would be his last season. The statement follows:

              "I told you fellows last spring I thought this would be my last year. I only wish I could have had a better year. But even if I had hit .350, this would have been the last year for me.

              "You all know I have had more than my share of physical injuries and setbacks during my career. In recent years these have been much too frequent to laugh off. When baseball is no longer fun it's no longer a game.

              "And so I've played my last game of ball.

              "Since coming to New York I've made a lot of friends and picked up a lot of advisers, but I would like to make on point clear -- no one has influenced me in making this decision. It has been my problem and my decision to make.

              "I feel that I have reached the stage I 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.

              "In closing, I would like to say that I feel I have been unusually privileged to play all my major league baseball for the New York Yankees.

              "But it has been an even greater privilege to be able to play baseball at all. It has added much to my life. What I will remember most in days to come will be the greet loyally of the fans. They have been very good to me."

              In discussing reasons for his retirement while yet rated a fine ball player, The Clipper charged night ball with cutting two years off his career.

              It's the Next Afternoon


              "Playing after dark is not, in itself, tough," Joe revealed. "But the next afternoon you need four or five innings to get back on the beam.

              "Night ball presents a lot of problems. If it were all night ball except on Sundays, it would not be so rugged."

              DiMaggio insisted that he had made up his mind to retire after the 1951 season as early as last February, when be told the World-Telegram and Sun that "this could be my last year."

              That DiMaggio would not play in 1952 was predicted last April by a specialist in Dallas, Tex., to whom Joe had been sent by Del Webb.

              "DiMaggio has spurs in both shoulders, and I believe he has other arthritic involvements which will force him to quit after this season," the medico told Del.

              "The injuries forced me to quit," DiMaggio explained.

              "I reached my peak in 1948. And then I felt myself slide. I discovered that base-runners were moving on me, and that straightening for the throw after bending for a ground ball was a difficult operation."

              DiMaggio said he was not interested in a chance to manage a big league club.

              "The fact is, I do not want to put on a baseball uniform again, and I do not want to worry about 25 other men," he concluded.
              Last edited by DiMag4Life; 02-23-2008, 10:59 PM.

              Comment


              • #8
                Jolter's $100,000 tops richest club payroll in game's history

                By Dan Daniel
                The Sporting News

                February 1, 1950

                Lavish is the word for it. The way that dough is being tossed around the Yankee offices, it makes your bank balance water.

                Joe DiMaggio, $100,000, no strings attached. Tommy Heinrich, $40,000. Phil Rizzuto, $40,000. Allie Reynolds, $25,000. Joe Page sure to get $35,000. It all will come to the richest payroll in the history of baseball, and it traces to our federal income tax setup.

                Time was when a player landing a $10,000 increase and signing a contract for 40 grand came out with exultation. Now he emerges from the George Weiss Sanctum with the look of a business man who just had made a fair-to-middling deal. He says, "I got what I wanted, but the club could have given me more and lost nothing by it. Instead of the Yankees handing it to Uncle Sam, I get the chance to do so."

                The first successful Yankee to encounter Weiss in a salary discussion was Reynolds. He visited George on the morning of January 20. Wahoo got nowhere and left, registering discouragement.

                Weiss apparently had decided to hold firm. The dope was that he had set himself to begin whittling DiMaggio's base pay by 25 percent and to offer the Clipper a bonus contract under which he still could get a hundred grand if he played 130 games. The ideas was to look ahead with an eye to the rule which prevents cutting a player more than 25 percent any year.

                Dan and Del soften George

                However, on the evening of January 20m Weiss talked with Dan Topping and Del Webb, owners of the Yankees, over the telephone.

                George also had a long-distance conversation with DiMaggio, who was in San Francisco.

                "Don't be tough on the boys," said Topping. Webb must have made some reference of the tax setup. Then the fat contracts began to pour out of George's office like spring flood waters over a dam.

                When Rizzuto came out of Weiss' office, he said, "George had been softened up. I am going to tip off all the unsigned boys to dash in here and grab while Weiss is in this mood."

                DiMaggio came into town January 23 and attended the Charlie Keller dinner held that night. Joe was happy and carefree and tipped the fact that he already had made his deal with the club.

                The following afternoon, with the newsreels grinding, Joe signed a one-year contract calling for $100,000.

                Weiss refused to talk about the salary, but Red Patterson's dope sheet on Joe, listing all his salaries, had a $100,00 figure for 1949, which meant a hundred grand for 1950.

                DiMaggio said, "I feel great. No pains, no twinges, no spurs in the heels. Maybe I can through an entire training season and even play the pennant-opener. I sure have had rotten luck in the past. Now I look forward to some compensating breaks.

                "We will have to knock down the Red Sox again. They will be rougher. The Tigers could be tougher. The Athletics? I can't see them better than fifth.

                "I will return to San Francisco on February 3 and go back to golf.

                "I have become quite a golf addict," related Joe. "I used to joke about those links nuts. Now they can kid me, because I have it pretty badly. I hope to break 100 for the first time before I leave San Francisco for St. Petersburg, Fla.

                "Once I start training, I will drop golf. I am sure that the baseball and golf swings do not get on together very well.

                "Some day, when I am through as a ballplayer, I will give golf a real going over. It is exercise. It is a stimulus."

                Joe was more sunburned than he ever is during the summer.

                "I plan to be on two more championship teams. After that? Well, why don't you write the ticket for me?" Joe laughed.

                Just what will the ticket read? There are a lot of folks around here who believe Joe will be the next pilot of the Bombers. But there also are a lot who tell you that Tommy Heinrich holds a priority.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Joe DiMag sets all-time hitting streak mark

                  By Daniel M. Daniel
                  The Sporting News

                  July 3, 1941

                  For the last few weeks there has been considerable public discussion of the question whether, given a chance to choose between Joe DiMaggio and Bob Feller, a major league manager would pick the outfielder or the pitcher. It seems to me that recent developments have furnished an ample answer. I have seen Feller pitch and he is the current No. 1. 1 also have seen this man DiMaggio in action day after day, in the vast majority of games in which he has competed since he joined the Yankees. And I would choose Giuseppe.

                  DiMaggio's great batting streak, which has beaten the modern record of 41 straight games set by George Sisler of the St. Louis Browns in their near-pennant season of 1922, merely calls attention to the superlatives of this young man from San Francisco. Most emphatically, he is The Sporting News "Player of the Month." Make it "Player of the Year." Yes, I know all about the recent achievements of Ted Williams, who threatens to remain up there through the campaign.

                  DiMaggio started his batting spree on May 15, against the lefthanded Edgar Smith of the White Sox. He got one hit that afternoon. On May 14, Joe had been shut out by Mel Harder, the most difficult pitcher in the league for him. Harder has had Joe's number ever since the outfielder came to the Yanks in 1936.

                  However, DiMaggio ran into Mel again during the streak in the nightcap of a double-header on June 1, and hurdled the eighteenth successive game. It was touch-and-go in the finale that afternoon, but DiMag went, banging a hit through Ken Keltner.

                  At times in that streak, DiMaggio cut it much too fine to suit the customers. On six occasions he did not get his hit until his last time at bat. The most dramatic of these came June 26, against Elden Auker of the Browns. Auker set out to stop DiMaggio and in Joe's first three efforts he certainly was stopped.


                  Chance for Gift Hit. Not Awarded


                  In the second inning, DiMaggio flied out to Roy Cullenbine. In the fourth Joe crashed a hot rounder right at Johnny Berardino. who booted it. The scorer could have made it a hit, but the scorer was going to let Joe make his own hits, the way Joe wanted to make them. So the error sign was hung up. In his third effort, DiMag grounded out to Harlond Clift.

                  Came the eighth inning, with the Yankees and the crowd -- and the press box, too -- all excited. Would he be stopped?

                  DiMaggio was the fourth man on the list before Auker. The underhanded slinger was determined not to be forced to face Joe again. But he was too anxious. Johnny Sturm was retired and Red Rolfe wangled a pass on four bad ones.

                  Now came Tom Henrich. Joe McCarthy wasn't going to risk a double-play, so he ordered Thomas to bunt. This was done, and DiMaggio came up with a runner on second and two out . Joe swung on the first pitch and lined it viciously into left for a double. Game No. 38.

                  You should have heard the roar of that as crowd! You should have witnessed the scene in front of the Yankee dugout! It was more exciting even than Babe Ruth's sixtieth home run when he set the all-time record in l927.

                  Joe put the clincher on the record in the double-header in Washington, June 29, doubling in the first game to tie Sisler's modern mark and moving his own record to 42 with a clean single in the second tilt.

                  DiMaggio's batting streak certainly captured the fans and fired their imaginations. Joe always is skillful and colorful. Dramatize a player like that with a streak like his and you have the superb, turnstile-clicking, electrifying situation.

                  The day DiMaggio hit Auker belatedly, Marius Russo was pitching a one-hitter. Tom Henrich's home run had stretched the club's circuit spree to 35 in 21 straight games -- a feat undreamed of even in the Ruth and Gehrig heyday. But the crowd virtually ignored the Russo feat, and took the Henrich homer for granted. The hero was DiMaggio.

                  Batting streaks always have intrigued the customers. They first became conscious of such feats in 1894, when Bill Dahlen, shortstop with the Chicago Nationals, hung up a record of 42 straight games.

                  This was not touched until 1897, when Wee Willie Keeler -- the master scientist who hit them where they weren't -- established the present major league record of 44 games.

                  From July 27 through September 17, 1922, Sisler made the American League mark of 41 games. That same year, Rogers Hornsby, then with the Cardinals, turned in the best streak of the National League, 33 games.

                  Until DiMaggio came along this season, Hornsby's record was tops for a righthanded hitter.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    ------Sliding Home-------

                    -----------------------------------------------------------

                    --------DiMaggio & Williams---------
                    Last edited by DiMag4Life; 02-23-2008, 10:58 PM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by DiMag4Life View Post
                      ------Sliding Home-------

                      -----------------------------------------------------------

                      --------DiMaggio & Williams---------

                      ---------------------------------------------------------------

                      Seen a number of Joe's slides over the years, great. Some of the best fade away and hook slides, excellent base runner, great instinct on the bases.
                      Just watched a video of Joe's slide in that 1940 WS game with a dazed catcher Ernie Lombardi lunging to tag Joe but he was safe. Coming down the inside of the third base line with a great slide. the only way he could be safe to slide far to the inside of the base line and just touching the base with the tip of his spikes, no other way he could have made it.

                      Ted Williams once commenting on Joe who he called one of the best, smartest base runners. On a number of plays Ted saying to himself as Joe was stretching out a hit, "where is he going" and then to his surprise seeing Joe just make that extra base.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Thanks, DiMag for all the wonderful Joe articles. Reading Daniel brings me way back to sitting in the Palo Alto Library reading Sporting News for 6 hours at a time. Heavennnn - I'm in Heavennnnnn.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Sliding in to third base, advanced on a single, safe.
                          Attached Files

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                          • #14
                            Joe at age 3. Wearing pinstripes already............well, close to pinstripes.
                            Attached Files

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              The caption reads, Joe injures leg, safe at second on a 9th inning double a spectacular slide. Well I see the Dodger uniform...........OK it's the World Series Joe has to go all the way out on this play. Then I read the date and the entire caption, April 14, 1939 it was a pre season game.
                              Attached Files

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