Friday, May 8, 2009

Red Sox great Dom DiMaggio, Joe’s brother, dies

Dominic DiMaggio, the bespectacled Boston Red Sox center fielder who was overshadowed by his older brother Joe’s spectacular career, died early Friday. He was 92.

DiMaggio was surrounded by his family at his death at his Massachusetts home, according to his wife, Emily. She did not give a cause of death but said that DiMaggio had been ill lately.

“He was the most wonderful, warm, loving man,” his wife of 61 years said. “He adored his children, and we all adored him.”

DiMaggio was a seven-time baseball All Star who still holds the record for the longest consecutive game hitting streak in Boston Red Sox history.

Known as the “Little Professor” because of his eyeglasses and 5-foot-9 (1.75 m), 168-pound (76 kg) frame, DiMaggio hit safely in 34 consecutive games in 1949. The streak was broken on Aug. 9 when his big brother caught a sinking line drive in the eighth inning of a 6-3 Red Sox win over the New York Yankees.

The younger DiMaggio also had a 27-game hitting streak in 1951, which still ranks as the fifth longest in Red Sox history. Joe set the major league record with a 56-game hitting streak with the Yankees in 1941 and was elected to the sport’s Hall of Fame.

The oldest of the three center field-playing DiMaggio brothers was Vince, who had a 10-year major league career with five National League teams. Joe died in March 1999, while Vince died in October 1986.

Dom DiMaggio spent his entire career with the Red Sox, 10 full seasons plus three games in 1953. He was teammates and close friends with Red Sox greats Ted Williams, Bobby Doerr and Johnny Pesky.

While Dom did not have the batting numbers of Joe, he was generally regarded as a better defensive player with a stronger arm.

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1 comment:

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