I Can’t Let This Week Go By Without Remembering ‘Joltin’ Joe DiMaggio
The year was 1941. Americans were preoccupied with World War Two going on in Europe. Nerves were on edge and Americans needed something or someone to do something positive. That someone turned out to be Joe DiMaggio of the New York Yankees. Baseball was an escape from the pressures of war and people were following both the war and the game that summer especially because of DiMaggio.
DiMaggio, nicknamed “Joltin Joe” and the “Yankee Clipper” played centerfield for the New York Yankees for 13 seasons making the All-star team all 13 years. He was a three time MVP of the American League, won 10 American League titles and 9 World Series Championships during his career. He was later inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York in 1955.
DiMaggio came up to the New York Yankees in 1932 but it was the 1941 season that he is best known for. That was the season, during World War Two, that the “Yankee Clipper” grabbed the attention of the baseball world by hitting safely in 56 consecutive games, a Major League record that may never be broken. DiMaggio started his streak on May 15th of that year and it lasted until July 16th.
For over two months, DiMaggio managed to divert the anxiety of Americans dealing with one war story after another. Instead of going straight to the front headlines of the papers, people went right to the sports section to see if “the streak” continued. It did until July 16th. That was 72 years ago this past Tuesday.
DiMaggio was born in Martinez, California in 1914 and passed away in Hollywood, Florida in 1999.