View Full Version : Did anyone ever meet the Yankee Clipper ?
I was talking with a friend recently about our experiences with meeting the great Joe D. I had met him many years ago in a restaurant/bar in NYC while my dad was playing a gig there in the 70's (My dad is a musician) He had come up to meet my dad and said he was a fan ?!? My dad's eyes bugged out of his head and he said "Are you kidding !!" Well, while I was too busy stammering incoherently my dad and Joe exchanged autographs, I finally straightened my tongue out and got a nice personalized auto from him. He was very friendly and pretty funny too... Years later I met him again and got a ball signed from him. Two days I'll never forget !! Especially the first as it was an unexpected meeting...
How about all of you other posters out there ?
11-27-01, 11:48 AM
In July (?) of 1969, my Dad and I were living in Washington D.C having moved down from Manhattan years earlier... We used to go to as many Senators games as we could and this particular Sunday, they were playing the Oakland A's... Dad had spotted Joe D. in that AWFUL A's uniform and said to me that he would be able to get Joe to come over and talk to us. (I though my Dad was full of it and I was skeptical at best) but knowing our family background in NYC (Hell's Kitchen, Parkchester, etc) and the stories that he would tell me about his encounters with Ruth, Gehrig, Red Rolfe, Lefty Gomez, Bill Dickey, Joe Gordon and Joe D......I had to go with him to see....... Well, we get over to the 3rd base dugout at RFK and it's a madhouse..... People yelling at the players for autographs.... so we move down towards the edge to the dugout away from homeplate and Joe is signing for a few and trying to get towards the 3rd base line... When my Father hollers out to Joe...."Hey Joe, remember the back room at Dugan's?" and I swear to God, Joe looks up and says "Who said that?" My Dad responded and Joe called us over and introduced himself to me, shook my hand while he and Joe went over the life and times of the backroom at Dugan's (owned by former Yankee third baseman, Joe Dugan) This establishment was on W.110th St., not too far from one of the many places the Roche family lived in from 1922 to 1964.... During their talk, Joe brought up the time Lefty Gomez' car was parked outside and had 4 flat tires when he came out, Joe wondered what ever happened... Well, it turns out that some of the fellas that hung out around Dugan's were responsible.....(This story had been told to me years earler by my Dad and the fact that Joe had brought it up without any prompting from my Dad cemented total credibility for ANY story that he told me about his encounters with the famous (or infamous) on the Sidewalks of New York.
For my Dad, he always said that Ruth saved Baseball, but there will NEVER be another player like DiMaggio.... I could bring up Mantle (my favorite) or Mays or Aaron or Clemente or ANYONE....and he would cut me short.........put up his hand and say....."They couldn't do what what Joe could do ...day in.............day out..... I know....I saw him......"
Whenever Highlights of seasons past for Joe D. were shown on TV, I made sure that my Dad saw them and with Dad passing a few years ago, I make sure that I see them too, for with each Highlight, I can still hear Dad say, "There will NEVER be another player like DiMaggio".:NY:
11-27-01, 05:22 PM
Terrific story Jim! I can relate to the feelings you have about your dad loving Joe D. Even though I never met Joe, my father told enough stories about him for me to appreciate what he must have been like as a player. It's also nice to hear how friendly he was in giving autographs and talking with fans. If you read Kramer's book about Joe, you'll find that if it is to be believed, Joe didn't do anything if money wasn't included. :NY: :NY: :NY: :NY:
11-27-01, 06:58 PM
Sixty One.... Yeah, I read Cramer's book....tried to piece together what I experienced with what was documented... Still can't put "two & two" together and come up with Joe's suppossed hustle for the almighty $.
(Maybe it was after he was voted "The Greatest Living Ballplayer" in '69...In fact, this story was real close to the All Star Game at RFK wherin Joe was given the "Greatest Living" title.... Could "it" have gone to Joe's head?....... I seriously doubt it.... No way..
11-27-01, 09:26 PM
Thanks, Jim. Absolutley fantastic story!
Wow! What it must have been like to be young, rich, famous, good looking and single in New York City in the 1930s! What a blast that must have been.
I met Joe D is ST in Ft Lauderdale. sometime in the early 80's.
He was a frequent visitor to ST camps. This time he was signing for some fans by the Yankee bullpen. I didn't get or ask for his auto, but I did wish him luck and he said Thanks.
11-28-01, 11:50 PM
My only "meeting" of Joltin' Joe was my being in the crowd at the Yankee Parade in '98. I saw some red Cadillac or T-Bird passing by and a very distinguished gentleman was at the wheel. It kind of whizzed past like I was in a dream or something and I asked the person next to me "Who was that?". They said Joe DiMaggio. To this day, I can't explain why it looked so dreamlike when I hadn't even realized who it was, but I guess that's just a part of his aura.
12-08-01, 03:59 PM
Great stories about Joe Di, I never did meet him in person, But i did go to Toot`s Shor in Manhattan a few times looking for Joe who had dinner their on a frequent basis. I always just missed him about had some nice conversations with Toot`s about Joe Di
12-09-01, 10:59 AM
Hey Michaels07, how about telling us what Toots said about Joe! I have read some interesting statements about Toots and know he was quite a character in NY for many years.:lol: :lol: :NY: :NY: :NY: :NY:
12-09-01, 12:09 PM
Too`ts only loved Joe & had the usual great things to say about the Yankee Clipper.
I had hit a few bars with Whitey Ford & a friend " Damon Runyon type Louie Geraldi and Whitey never spoke ill of any Yankee. We usually talked the Stock Market, he was a broker with Fahenstock in the winter months thru the courtesy of M.Donald Grant.He did mention that the Yanks were bringing up a kid from Brooklyn, a tough guy who had gotten shot in the stomach. His name was Joe Pepitone. Whitey always had praise for Mickey, Billy & the Rog.:gulp: :gulp: :gulp: :gulp:
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