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Joe DiMaggio was one of the best all-round baseball players in the history of the game, helping the NY Yankees to nine World Series titles.
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In 1952, Marilyn Monroe was introduced one of the biggest heroes in baseball, Joe DiMaggio. She was drawn to his quiet, conservative nature-- as well as the fact that he wasn't in show business.
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After winning three consecutive World Series (1949-1951), DiMaggio decided to retire after the 1951 season due to increasing pain in his heel. "I was full of aches and pains and it had become a chore for me to play," he said. "When baseball is no longer fun, it's no longer a game."
During his 13 seasons in Major League Baseball, DiMaggio won nine World Series Championships and three American League MVP awards. He had a career batting average of .325,
with 361 career home runs. DiMaggio was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1955.
Joe DiMaggio married Dorothy Arnold in 1939, and they had a son, John III, before divorcing after five years of marriage. Then, in 1952, the year after he retired from baseball, DiMaggio met the actress Marilyn Monroe and fell madly in love with her, beginning one of the most high-profile romances in American history. After an 18-month courtship, DiMaggio and Monroe wed on January 14, 1954 in what the press hailed as "the Marriage of the Century."
However, the couple's marriage was troubled from the start. The retired DiMaggio was looking to settle down while Monroe's career was skyrocketing. Their brief but celebrated union ended after less than a year, but DiMaggio and Monroe remained close friends. After her tragic death in 1962, DiMaggio had roses delivered to her crypt three times a week for the next 20 years. He never married again.
During his long and peaceful retirement, DiMaggio remained very much a public figure by appearing as a radio and television spokesman for various products. He passed away on March 8, 1999 from complications of lung cancer at the age of 84.
Joe DiMaggio is one of those rare sports heroes, like Babe Ruth and Jackie Robinson, whose legacies transcend sports to symbolize aspects of history and culture. New York City Mayor Ed Koch said of DiMaggio, "He represented the best in America. It was his character, his generosity, his sensitivity. He was someone who set a standard every father would want his children to follow."
Echoing this sentiment on the day of DiMaggio's death, President Bill Clinton stated, "Today, America lost one of the century's most beloved heroes, Joe DiMaggio. This son of Italian immigrants gave every American something to believe in. He became the very symbol of American grace, power and skill. I have no doubt that when future generations look back at the best of America in the 20th century, they will think of the Yankee Clipper and all that he achieved."
© 2013 A+E Networks. All rights reserved.
© 2013 A+E Networks. All rights reserved.
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America’s favorite pastime has had quite a few heavy hitters and powerful pitchers throughout its history. With their impressive RBIs, game-winning strikeouts and larger-than-life personalities, these famous baseball players have become sports legends. From breaking barriers – Jackie Robinson, Hank Aaron and Toni Stone – to breaking records – Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and Alex Rodriguez – here are the athletes that have made baseball a national treasure.
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