September 6, 1912|
|Died: October 3, 1986
North Hollywood, California
|April 19, 1937 for the Boston Bees|
|Last MLB appearance|
|June 6, 1946 for the New York Giants|
|Runs batted in||584|
|Career highlights and awards|
Vincent Paul "Vince" DiMaggio (September 6, 1912 – October 3, 1986) was an American Major League Baseball center fielder. During a 10-year baseball career, he played for the Boston Bees (1937–1938), Cincinnati Reds (1939–1940), Pittsburgh Pirates (1940–1945), Philadelphia Phillies (1945–1946), and New York Giants (1946). Vince was the older brother of Joe and Dom DiMaggio.
DiMaggio was born in Martinez, California. Older than Joe and Dom, Vince was discovered first, and the teenage Joe used to enviously watch him play professional ball. Blessed with some power and good fielding, Vince once claimed that he could run rings around Joe in the outfield.
Minor leagues (1932–1936)
DiMaggio began his professional career in 1932 with the Tucson Lizards of the Class-D Arizona-Texas League, hitting .347 with 25 homers and 81 RBI. He led the Arizona-Texas League in home runs, with eight more than runner-up Cal Lahman. He played 94 games with the Lizards that year, finishing the season with the San Francisco Seals of the Class-AA Pacific Coast League. With the Seals, he hit .270 with 6 home runs in 59 games.
Major League Baseball
On December 4, 1936, DiMaggio was traded by San Diego of the PCL to the Boston Bees for Tiny Chaplin, Tommy Thompson and cash. DiMaggio was a regular outfielder for the Bees in 1937 and 1938. In 1937, he hit .256 with a .311 on-base percentage and .387 slugging percentage with 13 home runs. In 1938, Vince hit only .228/.313/.369, but led the Bees with 14 home runs on a team that hit 54 home runs in total. He was tenth in the National League (NL) in homers, sixth in steals (11) and eighth in walks (65). In both 1937 and 1938, he led the NL in strikeouts. His 134 strikeouts in 1938 set a NL record for most strikeouts in one season, breaking Gus Williams' record of 120 set in 1914.
On February 4, 1939, the Boston Bees sent DiMaggio to the New York Yankees to complete an earlier deal made on August 10, 1938, where the Bees sent players to be named later, Gil English, Johnny Riddle and cash to the Yankees for Eddie Miller. DiMaggio did not play for the Yankees, as they assigned him to their American Association affiliate, the Kansas City Blues.
On August 5, 1939, DiMaggio was traded by the Yankees to the Cincinnati Reds for players to be named later and $40,000. The Reds sent Frenchy Bordagaray and Nino Bongiovanni to the Yankees on January 27, 1940 to complete the trade. DiMaggio appeared in eight games with the 1939 Reds and only two games for the 1940 Reds before the Reds traded DiMaggio to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Johnny Rizzo on May 8, 1940.
DiMaggio spent the majority of his MLB career with the Pirates. He was named to the All-Star Game in 1943 and 1944. In the 1944 All-Star game, DiMaggio hit a home run, triple and single in three at-bats.
In his ten year MLB career, Vince DiMaggio batted .249 with 125 home runs and 584 RBI in 1110 games.
Return to the minors
DiMaggio played for the Oakland Oaks of the PCL in 1947. In 1948, he moved to the Stockton Ports of the California League as a player-manager. He also played for and managed the Pittsburg Diamonds of the Class-D Far West League from 1949 through 1951. He finished the 1951 season, and his professional career, with the Tacoma Tigers of the Class-B Western International League.
DiMaggio worked at the California Shipbuilding Corporation during World War II. "He's one of the many former athletic stars who are helping to smash the Axis by building the equipment needed by America's fighting men." according to the Library of Congress.
According to Joe DiMaggio biographer Richard Ben Cramer, the iconic younger brother "didn't deal with Vince at all," never maintaining any meaningful relationship with him. But earlier in his career, Vince had also joked that "If I could hit like Joe and he could talk like me, we'd make a helluva guy."
- "Giants Wind Up in Third Place: DiMaggio sets new strikeout record". St. Petersburg Times. 3 October 1938. Retrieved 14 March 2013.
- "Vince DiMaggio is Dead at 74". The New York Times. Associated Press. October 4, 1986. Retrieved December 13, 2011.
- "Writing Biographies". National Cable Satellite Corporation. Retrieved 15 February 2015.
- Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube, or Baseball-Reference (Minors)