Joe DiMaggio Retires From Baseball

Joe DiMaggio in his first year as center fielder for the New York Yankees on October 6, 1936. (Bettmann/Getty Images)

Joseph Paul DiMaggio, also known as the Yankee Clipper, was one of the greatest all-around players in the history of baseball. In 1937, he led the American League in number of home runs scored. In 1939 and 1940, he led the league in batting, with averages of .381 and .352, respectively. From May 15 to July 16, 1941, he hit for 56 games in a row. You don't get those kinds of numbers without taking a few hits as well, though, so on December 11, 1951, Joe DiMaggio retired years before anyone (including himself) expected.

The Beginning Of Baseball For DiMaggio

Joe DiMaggio was born on November 25, 1914. He quit school at the age of 14 and began to play ball at 17, joining his brother, Vincent, in the minor leagues for the San Francisco Seals. The Yankees bought his contract in 1936, and in his first season as a major league player, he batted a .323 and a .346 in the World Series, helping the Yankees beat the New York Giants.

DiMaggio played as a center fielder almost his entire career. He played 13 seasons with the Yankees but lost three seasons from 1943 to 1945, when he joined the army to fight World War II. Throughout his career, DiMaggio won nine out of 10 of his World Series games played.