Joe DiMaggioThis is a featured page

by Chris Heitzig

(November 25th,1914- March 8th, 1999). Joe Paul DiMaggio is attributed as being one of the most unique people in a American History. Known for his 56 game hitting streak, his great play on offense and defense, and his marriage with Marilyn Monroe, he has made himself one of the most successful careers in baseball history. He played thirteen seasons in all while serving two years in the military. His baseball resume includes 3 MVP awards, 13 all-star game appearances (only player to be voted to the all-star game every season he played in), 361 home runs, a career slugging percentage of .579, and he is a hall of fame inductee.

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Table of contents
Minor League career
First half of Professional career
Second half of career
-Effect during inconsistant times
-Effect on Baseball and it's growth
-Effect on America during his service
-Effect on the Society of America
Joe DiMaggio was born into an Italian family in California, as the 8th of 9 children. His father’s dream was for him to follow his footsteps and become a fisherman. That was not to be, for Joe didn't like fishing. His passion was with baseball. Nearly every day, he would go to a plot of sand near the wharf in San Francisco to play baseball. They would use rocks for bases, and a ball of tape as a ball. Two of Joe’s four brothers also played baseball, Dom and Vince. Vince ended up being the one to start Joe’s career.

Minor League Career
Vince was playing for the San Francisco Seals, a minor league team, when an opening at shortstop came about. Vince recommended his younger brother Joe to the coaches. They gave him a shot, and Joe had a large amount of success, but the next season was when his career really took off. He hit in a league record 61 straight games. But in 1934, Joe’s career came in jeopardy when he tore ligaments in his knee when stepping out of a share taxi. San Francisco immediately tried to sell him fearing it would have long term effects. Originally looking for $100,000, they accepted a $25,000 offer from the New York Yankees. This deal allowed DiMaggio to play one more season with The Seals before coming to the Yankees. That season he hit .398 with 154 RBIs and 34 home runs, which led to a league title and a MVP award.

First half of Professional Career
On May 3rd, 1936, DiMaggio made his debut with the Yankees. He batted ahead of fellow hall of famer Lou Gehrig. That season, DiMaggio helped the Yankees win the first of four straight World Series, and six of the next seven pennants. He soon became one of the most feared players in baseball, offensively and defensively. He was known as a 5-tool player, which is a player who has great speed, can bat for average and power, has a great throwing arm, and has great defense.

Joe DiMaggio holds many records, but the one that’s most known is his 56 game hitting streak in 1941. It lasted from May 15th to July 17th, and during that time he batted an unheard of .409 (91-223). What is also overlooked is that after his 56 game hitting streak, he unraveled another 17 game hitting streak. That means he hit safely in 73 of 74 games! That year he won his second MVP award. His next season (1942) would be his last season before he entered the military. His service lasted from February 17th, 1943 to September 14th, 1945. I chose to look at his career in two halves, before he went to war and after. Both make up an extremely successful career.

Second half of professional career
He returned to the Yankees in the spring of 1946. He showed that he could still play, and play great at that. The following year he won his last of three MVP awards. Later, in 1949, he became the first player to be paid over $100,000 in a single season, after accepting a new contract with the Yankees. In 1951 he retired due to nagging injuries, citing that, “It became a chore for me to play. When baseball is no longer fun, it’s no longer a game.” His impact on America was far from over though. A year after he retired, he married Marilyn Monroe, widely regarded as being the most beautiful woman at the time. The marriage didn’t last long, as they divorced 271 days after the wedding.

Joe DiMaggio is known as one of the greatest, if not the greatest player of all time. During his time with the Yankees, he led them to a total of nine World Series championships. His mark will be left on America and the game of baseball forever.

Joe DiMaggio is attributed as being one of the greatest baseball players of all time. He also however, has had a significant effect on America's past, present and future. He has an unimaginable resume that includes a hall of fame baseball career, spending two and a half years in the military, and betrothing one of the most beautiful women of the 20th century.

Effect during inconsistant times
Joe DiMaggio played baseball during World War II. During this time, the nation called for a hero. Not necessarily one to help them with the war, but one to help take their mind off of it. Joe DiMaggio was this hero. He captured the hearts of all types of people. Many of these people were searching for consistency in this inconsistent time. Joe DiMaggio was this consistency. Baseball fans could count on him reaching base in a game. If he averaged four plate appearances per game, his career .400 on-base percentage would result in him reaching base in a game at least once 87% of the time. That's unreal!

Effect on Baseball and it's growth
The 30's and 40's were a time of tremendous growth for the sport of baseball. The effects of the 1919 Black Sox scandal were beginning to fade away. The United States was beginning to rise out of the Great Depression, and eventually have their economy boom to be one of the largest in the world. Through the late thirties to the mid forties, many people went to baseball games just to get their minds off of the tragedy of the war itself. That resembles the way people would go to movies to take their mind off the Great Depression. Also, the emergence of television played a huge role in jumpstarting the sport of baseball. The first televised game was August 26th, 1939, and the coverage of baseball has kept expanding ever since. All of these things just came together, and with a player like Joe, America could relate to baseball more than ever, and its popularity took off. He was at the kind of popularity level that everyone in the country would recognize his name. He was a face of America, in a time where our country was so visually scrutinized.

Effect on America during his service
In 1942, the American hero became more of a hero in people's eyes when he went to joined the military. He served in the military from February 14th 1942, to September 14th, 1945. He gave up his passion in life to join the army. That made many people fall in love with him. And being that it was during the bloodiest war in the history of the Earth, it made Joe's decision to join the army that much greater of a sacrifice.

Effect on the Society of America
On Joe DiMaggio's tomb it reads, "Grace, dignity and elegance personified". I included this because I thought it was a unique way of describing a very unique person in DiMaggio. Ted Williams, another hall of fame player, sums up DiMaggio's legacy on baseball and the country itself with this statement, " Joe DiMaggio was the greatest all-around player I ever saw. His career cannot be summed up in numbers and awards. It might sound corny, but he had a profound and lasting impact on the country".

Other References:
Explaination of a five tool player.
Ted Williams
Jackie Robinson

"Kimball, Bob. "DiMaggio an American Hero." USA today 08 Aug. 1999. "Joe DiMaggio." The Official Site of Joe Dimaggio. 27 May 2009

"Joe DiMaggio -." Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. 27 May 2009

"Joe DiMaggio Statistics and History -" - Major League Baseball Statistics and History. 27 May 2009

"National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum: Hall of Famer detail." National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum: Home. 27 May 2009 <>.

Lee, Bill. Baseball Eccebtrics. Chicago, Illinois: Triumphant Books, 2007.

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