SportsCentury: Joe DiMaggio

Here’s a documentary on Joe DiMaggio by ESPN that aired in 1999 as part of the SportsCentury series.  It’s obviously an abbreviated documentary, not going into a lot of depth, but it is still certainly worth a watch.


Quote of the day

DiMaggio’s grace came to represent more than athletic skill in those years. To the men who wrote about the game, it was a talisman, a touchstone, a symbol of the limitless potential of the human individual. That an Italian immigrant, a fisherman’s son, could catch fly balls the way Keats wrote poetry or Beethoven wrote sonatas was more than just a popular marvel. It was proof positive that democracy was real. On the baseball diamond, if nowhere else, America was truly a classless society. DiMaggio’s grace embodied the democracy of our dreams.

~David Halberstam

David Halberstam

David Halberstam (Goodreads)

 


Quote of the day

Ted Williams was the greatest hitter I ever saw, but DiMaggio was the greatest all around player.

~Bob Feller

bob feller

Bob Feller (Wikimedia Commons)


This day in baseball: Three times three

In the first game of a doubleheader played on August 27, 1938, the Yankee Clipper, Joe DiMaggio, hit three consecutive triples against the Indians.  DiMaggio’s feat helped the Yankees en route to an 8-7 victory over Cleveland.

The box score for the game can be found here.

dimaggio

New York Post


Baseball Legend Joe DiMaggio, by Geoffrey Giuliano

I came across this audiobook, Baseball Legend Joe DiMaggio, through the local library and spent my lunch break yesterday listening to it.  Written and narrated by Geoffrey Giuliano, I wondered at first why this biography came only in audio format, with no hard copy or even ebook version.  As I listened, however, the reason quickly became apparent.

Joe DiMaggio Giuliano

The recording opens up with a broad, sweeping biography of DiMaggio, which takes up only about the first five or ten minutes of the hour-long book.  This biography serves to set the foundation for the rest of the book, which turns out to be a sort of audio documentary of Joe DiMaggio’s life.

The audiobook features recordings of a variety of interviews, some with DiMaggio himself, others with broadcasters from both that era and the present day.  Also included are snippets from actual radio broadcasts during that era.  Giuliano provides the context for the various audio clips, which cover everything from DiMaggio’s early life to his war service, his 56-game hitting streak to his marriage to Marilyn Monroe, his relationship with his teammates to his life post-baseball.

Overall, I found it a fascinating experience to listen to the various clips.  As I mentioned, the entire audiobook is only about an hour long, which made for an enjoyable lunch break.  If you enjoy listening to old interviews and other audio clips, it’s worth checking out.


This day in baseball: Williams named MVP

Ted Williams won the American League Most Valuable Player award on November 14, 1946.  The award was bestowed upon Williams after having finished second to the Yankees’ Joe DiMaggio (1941) and Joe Gordon (1942).  The Splendid Splinter missed the last three seasons due to serving in the military during World War II, but returned to baseball hitting .342 with 38 homers and 123 RBIs.

800px-Ted_Williams

Wikimedia Commons


“Joe DiMaggio Done It Again,” by Billy Bragg and Wilco

If you’re having a hard time waking up this morning, this song might help.  The tune is quite peppy and the lyrics are pretty amusing.