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Joe DiMaggio

Hometown Sensation

From 1930 to 1932 DiMaggio resisted working on his father's boat, and after numerous odd jobs and a growing

Joe DiMaggio

reputation in San Francisco as a semi-pro baseball player, he signed late in the 1932 season to play for the San Francisco Seals of the Pacific Coast League (PCL). At that time the PCL was not a minor league but a highly regarded independent league, just a half-step below the major leagues. He joined his older brother, Vince, who had already signed with the Seals earlier in the year. He appeared in the final three games at shortstop and hit for a .222 average. The next season, 1933, DiMaggio's greatness on the diamond first shone. Replacing his brother as the team's slugging star and center fielder, he hit for a .340 average with 28 home runs and 169 runs batted in (RBIs). More importantly he put together a 61-game hitting streak that was only stopped by the outstanding effort of Ed Walsh, Jr. of the cross-bay rival Oakland Oaks who pitched a no-hitter. Vince DiMaggio, meanwhile, caught on with the Los Angeles Angels.

Following the 1934 season the New York Yankees decided to purchase DiMaggio's contract from the Seals. (1934 was Babe Ruth's last season with the Yankees.) Unfortunately for Seals owner Charley Graham, DiMaggio injured his knee and the original sale price of $75,000 was cut to $25,000. However, both teams publicly announced the higher figure. Furthermore, DiMaggio spent the 1935 season with the Seals.

DiMaggio's final season with his hometown team was another memorable one. The Seals had brought in former major leaguer Lefty O'Doul as a player-manager and won the league's second-half pennant. (The Angels won the first half). The Seals then went on to win the league championship against the Angels, four games to two. DiMaggio was the league's most valuable player (MVP) with a .398 batting average, 34 home runs and 173 RBIs. He had an astounding 270 hits. He was more than ready to join the Yankees.

Additional topics

Famous Sports StarsBaseballJoe DiMaggio Biography - Hometown Sensation, Off To A Fabulous Start, The Streak, Chronology, Postwar Comeback, Awards And Accomplishments