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November 25, 1914 – March 8, 1999
On November 25, 1914 Joseph Paul DiMaggio was born in the town of Martinez, California. He was one of nine children, five boys and four girls, to Giuseppe Paolo and Rosalie DiMaggio, who immigrated to America from the small town of Isola Delle Femmine, Sicily. Like many families that came to America the DiMaggio's had their share of hard times and struggles. During the depression Joe opted to quit high school and get a job. That didn't last long and soon he found himself playing sandlot ball. Unlike his two older brothers Tom and Mike, who followed in their father footsteps and became fisherman, Joe strayed towards baseball with his brothers Vince and Dom.
While playing for the San Francisco Seals the New York Yankees signed Joe for 25,000 dollars. In 1936 he joined the Yankees and stayed with the club for 16 years playing center field. Due to World War II, DiMaggio missed three years of baseball. During his career he was given such nicknames as "The Yankee Clipper" for his incredible defensive abilities and "Joltin' Joe" for his hitting prowess.
Plagued with injuries for most of his career DiMaggio didn't let that stop him from being the best he could be. In his 13 years with the Yankees DiMaggio compiled such statistics and awards as:
After his retirement DiMaggio remained in the spotlight when he married the sexy Marilyn Monroe. Although his marriage didn't last long DiMaggio still loved the beautiful actress. After her tragic death DiMaggio had roses sent to her grave three times a week, but had to stop this when fans would go to the grave site and take the roses.
DiMaggio will never be forgotten. He captured the hearts of America with his grace, style, and desire. He lived an American dream. He did what many kids dream of doing when they grow up and for that he will always be remembered as one of the greatest baseball players of all time.
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