Continuing our birthdays of old-time baseball players series…
Yankee legend Joe DiMaggio was born on this day in 1914. He played from 1936-1951, and “God” doesn’t even begin to describe what Joe was for another half century after he retired.
For the record, his final game was Game Six of the 1951 World Series.
Joe walked away from the game when he was 36 years old. With three years of MLB time lost to his service in World War II, he played only 13 seasons. Won a championship in nine of them.
His protege (of sorts), Mickey Mantle, was playing in his first World Series in ‘51. (He was injured in Game Two and watched the rest of the Series from a hospital bed.) The Mick played his last game in 1968, several years after the end of the Yankee Dynasty that lasted a more than a generation.
We generally think of the Mantle as hanging on “too long.” In his final years he was at best an average player. How old was he in his last game?
As a matter of fact he was 22 days shy of Birthday 37. DiMaggio? The man who retired early? He was 46 days short of of that same birthday.
Bet’cha never realized that one!