WHERE HAVE YOU GONE, JOE DIMAGGIO?: The Story of America's Last Hero by Maury Allen

WHERE HAVE YOU GONE, JOE DIMAGGIO?: The Story of America's Last Hero

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A nice guy, Joe -- gone to the links most sunny days -- but don't ever ask him about Marilyn. This is a reliable portrait of a difficult subject -- a taciturn introvert who became a legend in his own time -- substantiated by interviews with many of his teammates and managers. Born into a Bay Area fisherman family, young DiMaggio quit school at seventeen to play semi-pro ball. A Yankee in 1936, Joltin' Joe collected 206 hits his rookie season, hit in 56 straight games in 1941, and ended up with a 325 lifetime batting average. Unbeatable for statistics, the three-time MVP also sparked the Yanks to no less than ten pennants with nine World Series wins during his thirteen years in the league. Fellow players (Raschi, Rizzuto, Page) and opponents (Feller, Greenberg) alike sing DiMag's praise as a complete ballplayer and dedicated natural team leader -- a position later challenged and undermined by manager Casey Stengel. The Yankee Clipper was obviously ""a hero that the whole world could root for"" (according to Lefty Gomez) -- yet, how many people realize he was nearly traded for Ted Williams? (The deal fell through when the presumptuous Red Sox asked for Yogi Beta too.) As DiMaggio was such a private celebrity, it's perhaps unavoidable that his personal life is treated less than conclusively. A competent, uncontroversial handling of a mystique that hasn't rubbed off -- perhaps that's the way it should be.

Pub Date: May 1st, 1975
Publisher: Dutton