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Dimaggio's Yankees - A History of the 1936-1944 Dynasty by Lew Freedma

Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon. Verified Purchase. Checkout Your Cart Price. Special order. This item is a special order that could take a long time to obtain. Their forward-thinking administrative staff signed and developed top-flight talent like Joe DiMaggio and retained superstars like Lou Gehrig, who remained the greatest first baseman in the game until he succumbed to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

This history of Yankees from to World War II details the team's swift recovery from losing Ruth, reintroduces unheralded players, examines the personal styles of the key men, and chronicles the team's remarkable achievements, including winning six American League pennants in eight years and five World Series, a time triumph and tragedy, of characters colorful and sorrowful.

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But the third child, Vince, had that most American of things: the belief that he could achieve anything to which he aspired. Vince had dreams.

First, he wanted to be a singer. Giuseppe was quietly disgusted. While Vince played a decent centre field for the Seals, Joe hung around the neighbourhood, selling newspapers and rigging card games for money after dropping out of school. Rather like a precocious pianist, Joe was exceptionally gifted with a baseball bat, but he always need to be cajoled into playing. Fortunately, in , a few neighbourhood kids, Frank Venezia and Bat Minafo, put together a team with the promise of real uniforms and baseball shoes.

Ever the wily Sicilian, Joe signed up just to receive the cleats. Nevertheless, his talent began to show in those earliest of games.

In a local league with grown men, the Jolly Knights began to dominate, as Joe, then a shortstop, clouted the ball over fields, billboards, roads, and tenement buildings. One day, DiMaggio even hit a huge bomb over the clubhouse located way beyond left field at the Jackson Playground. Bummy Bumgartner, manager of the rival Sunset Produce team, slipped Joe two bucks and, the following week, he batted cleanup in a new uniform. That was the first of payment he received for his sublime physical abilities.

As the season wound down, Seals outfielder Henry Oana organised a barnstorming trip and took star shortstop Augie Galan along with him.

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With three games remaining, manager Ike Caveney needed to fill some holes on his team. He would make the jump, in less than two years, from playground games to the Pacific Coast League, just a notch below the Majors. And that would be, in reality, miraculous. Joe transitioned to the outfield in , robbing his brother of playing time. That year, at the tender age of 18, DiMaggio embarked on the first of his legendary hitting streaks.

Dimaggio's Yankees : a history of the dynasty (Book, ) []

The lanky kid hit safely in 61 consecutive games, obliterating the Pacific Coast League record of 49 set by Jack Ness in Many argue that, during that golden summer, Joe practically saved the PCL from extinction, as fans flocked to cities like Oakland and Portland and Sacramento to watch him sustain a mesmeric effort. Some 10, people crammed into Seals Stadium to watch him pass the mark, as baseball finally came of age on the West Coast. DiMaggio was a phenomenon, and scouts from many teams were interested in his services.

He maintained a. Yet just as interest in his talents peaked, Joe suffered a debilitating knee injury while stepping out of a car. He tore ligaments that put his career in jeopardy and drove down his value. Nevertheless, Yankee scout Bill Essick stood firm in his assessment of DiMaggio as the next great New York star, and the ballclub even had his knee evaluated. That was a steal, if ever there was one.

In a few years, he would be said to represent this land and exemplify its virtues: aspiration, hard work, native grace, and opportunity for all. Coverage of the game was growing exponentially on radio, in newspapers and by excited word of mouth. When Joe joined the Yankees, newspapermen were starved for copy and a new hero. DiMaggio hit.

DiMaggio's Yankees A History of the 1936-1944 Dynasty

It was a vintage year in Yankeeland, as Lou Gehrig smashed 49 homers and drove in runs as the Bombers won their first pennant in three years. Attendance jumped by ,, with fans becoming energised by the next great star. The Yankees beat the New York Giants to win the World Series, as one game attracted a record crowd of 66, to the big ballpark in the Bronx.

DiMaggio had arrived. The next year, he pounded out 46 home runs, establishing a club record for right-handed hitters that would probably still stand if Alex Rodriguez had not cheated. Gehrig was equally potent, and the Yankees won another Fall Classic from the Giants. Also in , DiMaggio met actress Dorothy Arnold on the set of a film in which he had a minor role. They married in San Francisco two years later as 20, fans jammed the streets.

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While an argument can be made that Williams deserved the award, baseball writers loved DiMaggio for providing a blank canvas onto which they could paint a masterpiece. There was no stopping the guy. Gehrig was forced to retire due to his worsening battle with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, and that left a humongous void in the Yankee lineup.

Joe still hit. This was the first taste of real failure DiMaggio had ever encountered in big league ball. Nevertheless, it seemed to inspire him to be even better, and to author one of the greatest seasons the game has ever seen. In , Joe DiMaggio hit safely in 56 consecutive games, beating the Yankee record of 29; the modern record of 40; and the all-time MLB mark of When that stretch ended, Joe unleashed another one, taking his hit streak to 73 of 74 ballgames.

It was, quite simply, the most outstanding achievement in baseball history, and the whole nation was captivated. The daily buzz to see if Joe collected a hit provided a salve for people petrified of Nazi aggression. Indeed, the great DiMaggio even knocked Hitler off the front pages. Nobody had ever done what he accomplished, and the celebrations were epochal. For Joe DiMaggio accomplished what no other ballplayer has done. DiMaggio activated the greatest and most unattainable dream of all humanity, the hope and chimera of all sages and shamans: he cheated death, at least for a while.

In a game of thin margins, where failure visits with incredible regularity, to succeed in fifty-six consecutive days, and seventy-three out of seventy-four, is worthy of the lifelong adulation Joe received. In the end, perhaps his father would have approved after all.

New York Yankees Rookie Joe DiMaggio on Food and Batting (1936)

In trips to the plate during his streak, DiMaggio struck out only five times, which can be a daily total for some modern players. It was a summer of excitement and pride.