Friday, May 8, 2009

Dominic DiMaggio, 1917-2009. R.I.P.

Dominic DiMaggio, the younger brother of Joe DiMaggio and Vince DiMaggio and a Boston Red Sox outfielder for 11 seasons, died today at the age of 92.

The bespectacled DiMaggio had a lifetime batting average of .298 and collected nearly 1,700 hits. His solid hitting and stellar defense earned him seven American League All-Star selections.

Like many players of his era, DiMaggio missed three seasons due to WWII. If not for the war perhaps DiMaggio would be in the Hall of Fame.

DiMaggio along with Ted Williams, Bobby Doerr and Johnny Pesky were the subject of David Halberstam's 2003 book The Teammates which documents DiMaggio, Doerr and Pesky's final visit with the Splendid Splinter before his passing in 2002. Of course, Halberstam himself met a tragic fate in 2007.

It is worth noting that rumors of DiMaggio's passing were once greatly exxagerated. In 2005, Charles Dellheim wrote an article in Commentary titled "A Yankees Fan in Red Sox Nation."
In the article, Dellheim noted the passing of both Williams and DiMaggio. Knowing that DiMaggio was still alive at the time I wrote in to correct the record and Dellheim conveyed his appreciation.

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said today.

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