Joe Dimaggio Biography for Kids
Giuseppe Paolo DiMaggio was born November 25, 1914, in Martinez, California. Joe Dimaggio gave his brother Vince credit for convincing him to try baseball as a career. Vince played for the San Francisco Seals, and he believed Joe was good enough to make money playing baseball too. Joe played centerfield for the New York Yankees. Joe was nicknamed Joltin’ Joe DiMaggio and the Yankee Clipper. Arch McDonald, who was an announcer at Yankee Stadium, had compared Joe to a Pan American clipper which was a new airplane at the time.
In 1941, Joe set a baseball record for recording a hit in 56 consecutive games. Joe’s consecutive games with a hit streak is one of the most important records in baseball history. Pete Rose’s consecutive hit streak of 44 games is the closest anyone has come to Joe’s record. Joe was an All Star 13 times and the won three American League Most Valuable Player (MVP) awards. His career batting average was .325; with 2,214 hits; 361 Home runs; and 1,537 runs batted in.
Joe’s modest, engaging personality made him popular with baseball fans and helped make baseball a more popular sport. During World War II, Joe enlisted in the Army. He said he didn’t want special treatment, but, like many Major League players who signed up, he spent most of his time playing baseball with the Seventh Army team. President Roosevelt thought that it was important to keep baseball going during the war to help keep up morale and entertain the troops and workers. Joe married movie actress Dorothy Arnold, but they divorced. In 1954, after he had retired from baseball, he married Marilyn Monroe. This marriage also ended in divorce in less than a year. He wrote an autobiography, Lucky to be a Yankee.
The Yankees retired his number “5″ in 1952, and he was elected to the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame in 1955. He was a heavy smoker who died of lung cancer on March 8, 1999.