Game 51: July 12, 1941
Dom DiMaggio used to tell the stories of how he sometimes felt like he didn’t exist during his brother Joe’s immortal hitting streak.
Most of his interviews were with media members who wanted to know what it was like growing up as Joe DiMaggio’s brother. What tips did Joe give him during a season? What was Joe like? What does Joe eat? Joe this and Joe that.
Friends in his Boston neighborhood, people at the ballpark, heck, teammates (!) would come up to the seven-time All-Star and ask, “How’d DiMaggio do? Did he get a hit?”
Dom’s bespectacled eyes would flash and he’d cock his head. Just a split second before answering he says he’d think to himself, “Wait a minute…I’m DiMaggio.”
But the youngest of the three major-league DiMaggio brothers knew what his questioners meant. No disrespect. Just the other DiMaggio was, well, Joe DiMaggio—arguably the country’s biggest news story.
Everybody wanted to know “How’d DiMaggio do?”
In Iowa, a long-haul trucker stopped at a café. Before freshening up or ordering, he asked The Question: “How’d DiMaggio do?”
In San Francisco, at the DiMaggio Grotto Restaurant, business was booming, especially at the bar—mostly because people just wanted to stop by and ask: “How’d DiMaggio do?”
At Times Square, throngs of people waited for the current-events scroll on Broadway to ease past the news from Europe and get on to the sports ticker. “How’d DiMaggio do?” passersby would ask one another.
So Dom understood the interest. He put on no airs that he might be in the same ballpark with The Yankee Clipper and always answered courteously.
On July 12, 1941, if anybody asked “How’d DiMaggio do?” Dom’s answer could have been: “Two more hits. He’s at 51.”
That 12th-straight Yankee win was 7-5 over St. Louis. Only 2,800 were in attendance.
New York was headed for the Second City. Surely more fans would be in interested in watching baseball history at Comiskey Park in Chicago.
JoeDiMaggio.com is the official and authorized Web site of Joe DiMaggio. During the 70th anniversary of DiMaggio's 56-game hitting streak, it is publishing “Reliving Joe DiMaggio’s Streak,” which follows the daily progress of Joltin' Joe in 1941. Series Archive