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Joseph Paul “Joe” DiMaggio

Discussion in 'Celebrities and Entertainment From WWII' started by Jim, Jun 23, 2011.

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  1. Jim

    Jim New Member

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    Joseph Paul “Joe” DiMaggio (1914–1999) also called “Joltin’ Joe” and “the Yankee Clipper,” was born in Martinez, California. Arguably the best all-around player in baseball history, DiMaggio was acquired by the New York Yankees from the minor league San Francisco Seals in 1935. From 1936 to his last season in 1951, DiMaggio helped the Yankees win ten American League championships. They won an eleventh pennant in 1943 while he was in the military. DiMaggio’s most widely hailed accomplishment was his fifty-six-game hitting streak in 1941. DiMaggio and “the Streak” came to symbolize the bravery, talent, and triumph to which Americans aspired during the Second World War. According to Richard Ben Cramer, DiMaggio exemplified “the great melting pot, which turned immigrants from a hundred lands into one unbeatable nation.” A 1942 contract dispute between DiMaggio and Yankees general manager Ed Barrow grabbed headlines and turned some of the press and the Yankee faithful against DiMaggio, especially when his play began to falter. Marital problems also plagued DiMaggio during in 1942—a particularly serious problem because, if the DiMaggios divorced, Joe would lose his 3-A deferment. Many fans (and his wife, Dorothy) also pressured DiMaggio to enlist like other big leaguers, such as Hank Greenberg and Bob Feller.

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    DiMaggio reported for duty at Santa Ana Air Base on February 24, 1943. He was quickly put to work playing for the U.S. Army baseball team. About six months later, Dorothy filed for divorce. Although transferred to Hawaii, duodenal ulcers got Joe sent back to California. In February 1945, he was transferred to Special Services in Atlantic City, New Jersey. He was given a medical discharge in September. DiMaggio married screen legend Marilyn Monroe in 1954. Their union lasted less than a year. Elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1955, DiMaggio became a public relations executive and television personality.

    Paul Hillmer
     

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