SportsProf

(Hopefully) good sports essays and observations for good sports by a guy who tries (and can sometimes fail) to be a good sport.

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Friday, May 08, 2009

Dominic DiMaggio is Dead at 92

Click here to read an excellent article from the Associated Press about the former Red Sox' outfielder and brother of Yankees' Hall of Famer Joe.

He was nicknamed the "Little Professor" because he wore glasses and was 5'9". There had been a song in New York with a refrain of "Joltin' Joe DiMaggio" that Red Sox' fans adapted for their own benefit, singing: "Who is better than his brother Joe? Dom-in-ic DiMA-gee-o."

They loved Dominic DiMaggio in Boston. He was a great player in his own right, not quite at Hall of Fame level but an outstanding contributor to the Red Sox. If you want to get a good sense of him, read David Halberstam's 2003 book, The Teammates, a great, short read that reflected upon DiMaggio, Bobby Doerr, Johnny Pesky and Ted Williams. Put simply, Dom DiMaggio was a great guy -- as an athlete, as a businessman, as a teammate and as a family man. For all the glory that his brother received, it appeared to me that Dom DiMaggio led the (much) happier life and was a true Renaissance man.

Read the obituary, read the book, and then wonder about how you view the headlines and the big names. Is everyone else in the family lesser because they don't receive the headlines of the (more) famous brother, or is it the case that life isn't always what it seems, and that you don't really know what someone else's life is all about because you don't live in his house? You'll probably learn a lot by going through this exercise.

At any rate, thanks, Dominic DiMaggio, for setting the great example that you did.

Rest in peace.

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