Beloved by fans everywhere and not just those in New York, Joe DiMaggio would rise to prominence in the late 1930s and 1940s to become one of the greatest ballplayers of all-time. Spending his entire 13-year career with the New York Yankees between 1936 and 1951, "The Yankee Clipper" would go on to captivate the nation in 1941 by hitting in 56 consecutive games, a record which still stands. A 3-time American League MVP and 13-time All-Star, he is the only player to be selected for the All-Star Game in every season he played. At the time of his retirement, DiMaggio ranked fifth in career homers with 361 and sixth in career slugging percentage, clocking in at an astounding .579. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1955.
I created this sketch card in October 2012:
10 random facts about Joe DiMaggio:
- In his 13 seasons with the Yankees, DiMaggio would lead the team to 9 World Series championships.
- DiMaggio earned his nickname "The Yankee Clipper" in 1939 by stadium announcer Arch McDonald, who likened DiMaggio's speed and range in the outfield to the then-new Pan American airliner.
- DiMaggio enjoyed a record 56-game hitting streak in 1941. Although he would go hitless in game number 57, he would start a new streak the very next day, hitting in 17 consecutive games. He would go on to hit safely in 73 of 74 games, which is also a record.
- DiMaggio missed the 1943-45 baseball seasons due to serving in the U.S. military.
- In 1949, he signed a record contract worth $100,000 and, as a result, became the first baseball player to break $100,000 in earnings.
- He married actress Marilyn Monroe in 1954; however, their union would last just under a year.
- His brothers Vince and Dom also spent time in the Major Leagues as center fielders.
- DiMaggio's uniform number 5 was retired by the Yankees in 1952.
- A native of the San Francisco Bay Area, DiMaggio became the first hitting instructor for the newly-relocated Oakland Athletics in 1968.
- In the 1970s, DiMaggio would become a spokesman for Mr. Coffee and would be the face of the company for over 20 years.