This Date In Baseball History: November 21, 1934: The New York Yankees purchase outfielder Joe DiMaggio from the San Francisco Seals of the Pacific Coast League.
The Yankees sent $50,000 and five players to the San Francisco Seals for outfielder Joe DiMaggio- who would be turning 20 years old in a few days. DiMaggio had seriously injured his knee – tearing ligaments while stepping out of a jitney in 1934. Some of the Yankee brass were concerned about the injury but scout Bill Essick was convinced the injury would heal and kept pestering the Yankees to go after him. After passing a physical examination earlier in the month- the Yankees on November 21, 1934 made what would turn out to be a monumental move- sending $50,000 and 5 players to the Seals for DiMaggio. DiMaggio would remain with San Francisco for the 1935 season- and had a monster season- winning the PCL MVP Award while hitting 34 home runs, 154 RBI’s and hitting .398. He would debut with the Yankees in May 1935- and would lead the Yankees to 9 World Series Championships in his 13 year career.
DiMaggio of course is remembered for his 56 game hitting streak in 1941. A record which is unlikely to ever be broken. Hitting streaks -nothing new to Dimaggio- back in 1933 while with San Francisco in the Pacific Coast League he had a 61 game hitting streak. Also- after the 56 game streak ended in 1941- he started a new streak which lasted 16 games- so in a 73 game stretch he had hits in 72 of the 73 games.
That second record is the one you never hear about.hitting in 72 of 73 games is almost as big a deal.
That is mind blowing- all it takes is one bad day- everyone has a bad day at the plate.. the 56- and the 72 or 73 will never be touched.
I was surprised after I read that book and looked up his stats…he played only 13 seasons…he lost 3 to the war though. Williams played 19. I can’t think about one of them without thinking of both.
DiMaggio’s lack of career totals due to the war and injuries leading to retiring a little early have hurt him I think in the ALL Time Greats discussion- I have noticed back in the 70’s 80’s he was held in higher regard–there were folks around who still had seen him–now- that number is getting fewer by the day. ..and the ‘new stats’ haven’t helped him. …. great read on DiMaggio- the book by Richard Ben Cramer– i came away feeling kind of sad about him and for him.
Thanks Hans…I’ll check that out.
He has really good stats but not All Time Great like you said.
Richard Ben Cramer- was a great writer- he wrote one of the best books I’ve ever read- one called -What It Takes- about a number of the 1988 Presidential candidates.