Giuseppe Paolo DiMaggio was born November 25, 1914, in Martinez, California. Joe’s brother Vince convinced him to try baseball as a career. Vince played for the San Francisco Seals, and he believed Joe was good enough to make money playing baseball too.
Joe played center field for the New York Yankees. He was nicknamed Joltin’ Joe DiMaggio and the Yankee Clipper. Arch McDonald, who was an announcer at Yankee Stadium, had compared Joe to a Pan American clipper which was a new airplane at the time. “Joltin Joe,” would become one of the most storied players in baseball history, and one of the most famous New York Yankees of all time. He made the all-star team in all 13 seasons he played. He finished his career with 361 home runs and was the American League Most Valuable Player (MVP) three times. He is perhaps most famous for his 56-game consecutive hit streak in 1941. This means he got at least one hit in 56 straight games. Today, the record still stands. Many believe it is so impressive that it will never be broken.
Joe’s modest, engaging personality made him popular with baseball fans and helped make baseball a more popular sport. During World War II, Joe enlisted in the Army. He said he didn’t want special treatment, but, like many Major League players who signed up, he spent most of his time playing baseball with the Seventh Army team. President Roosevelt thought that it was important to keep baseball going during the war to help keep up morale and entertain the troops and workers. Joe married movie actress Dorothy Arnold, but they divorced. In 1954, after he had retired from baseball, he married Marilyn Monroe. This marriage also ended in divorce in less than a year. He later wrote an autobiography called, Lucky to be a Yankee.
The Yankees retired his number “5? in 1952, and he was elected to the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame in 1955. Joe DiMaggio died on March 8, 1999.