Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Where have you gone?

The smiling fellow above is our 98th hero of the day, and his name is Joseph Paul DiMaggio born this day 1914 in Martinez, California. He was the eight of nine children born to an immigrant Italian fisherman. His father wanted all of his sons to be fisherman, and could not understand why "Joe" did not want to follow in his footsteps. It seems the smell of dead fish was a bit off putting to young Joe, and he had no desire to spend the rest of his life nauseated. He was first spotted playing semi-pro ball, moved on to the minor leagues, and eventually wound up with the New York Yankees. His move to them was a major success. The Yankees had not been to the World Series in four years when Joltin' Joe came on board, with him they were to win the next four World Series in a row. His most famous accomplishment while a member of the Yankees is the 56 game hitting streak, a mark that has not really been threatened since he managed it in 1941. The other sign of his hitting ability that to me speak volumes is that for his career he struck out only 8 more times than he hit home run, chew on that for a while, and you will come to realize the man could hit. His other major accomplishment was marrying Marylin Monroe, not bad for some immigrant baseball player. He was, by all accounts, deeply in love with her, and arranged her funeral after her death. He even had a half a dozen red roses delivered to her crypt three times a week. He is probably just as famous for the line "Where have you gone Joe DiMaggio? Our nation turns its lonely eyes to you." And the nation would be right to turn it eyes to Joltin' Joe, a true American success story, and a true gentleman, and a hero for the ages. So for being able to swat a baseball with the greatest of ease, and for bagging the hot blonde we all wanted. Joseph Paul "Joe" DiMaggio (November 25th 1914- March 8th, 1999, at the age of 84), you are my hero of the day.

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