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As one of our readers pointed out, when you think of Joe Dimaggio, you think of everything a baseball player should be. He was good-mannered, played harder than almost anyone else you're likely to see, and most importantly, he was unbelievably talented. Plus, he was married to Monroe for nine months.
(By the way, to see how far the Monroe/Dimaggio/Kennedy conspiracy actually might have gone, check out this article.) It's pretty interesting stuff.
Even more impressive than all this was the fact that Joe was a pureblood. He spent every last one of his thirteen seasons in the league wearing pinstripes. Granted, baseball in the 40's wasn't the trade first ask questions later league it is becoming today, but still, no small feat.
However, when you mention Dimaggio, it is inevitable that your mind should rest on the number 56. (CHOKE JIMMY!) And what he did in '41 was one of the most impressive feats of athleticism and endurance ever shown. (By the way, did you know that during his hit streak, he only had ONE three hit game? Weird.) But there was a lot more to Dimaggio than the streak can show. He was so good in so many ways, it's almost intimidating just looking at his numbers. In '37, his 2nd year in the league mind you, his statline was as follows.
.346/.412/.673 46 HR 167 RBI
A hundred and sixty seven ribbies. That's practically unheard of, and in my opinion, this was the best season for a hitter in the history of baseball... not named Babe Ruth. The Daig was just so well rounded and so terribly consistent that there wasn't a rotation in baseball that could retire him in every at bat- for 56 games.
He was part of nine world series winning Yankee teams. He was a three time AL MVP winner. A two time batting champ. He was fast, faster than his six foot two frame suggested, and he even led the league in triples in 1936 as a rookie. What did the Yankee Clipper (a fairly lackluster nickname in my opinion) do the following year? Oh, nothing really, just led the league in home runs. Consider that. Think about how mindbogglingly GOOD a player has to be in order to one year lead the league in triples, and the next, homers. They're two remarkably different stats that require two remarkably different skills. I don't think anyone has ever repeated the feat. In fact I don't think anyone has even done it over their entire career. I love the Daig, I think he was a great person and a great Yankee, and I think he was one of the best baseball players to ever live. He deserves to be on this list, and although he may seem high to many, I just felt that he never really reached out enough to the fans of New York, never really was beloved enough. He was too reclusive, he never really loved being loved, and had he accepted his stardom, he could have been a great role model. However, all this sure as hell didn't diminsh his skill any, and that's why he is my 10th favorite Yankee since 1918.
One final thing: Did I mention CHOKE JIMMY!

Next, #9: Derek Jeter SS 1995-2005
BEFORE YOU STOP READING IN DISGUST! I know what you're thinking. DJ ahead of Dimaggio? Blasphemy. Another new age Yankee fan who doesn't appreciate the past. No no no, you've got me all wrong. I'll tell you what. You come back in another couple days and I'll convince you that Jeter belongs here.

Peace out A-town,

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