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DiMaggio became first $100,000 player in 1949
During the last game, a plane flew over Fenway Park trailing a banner that read “The Great DiMaggio.” Not many people disagreed.
DiMaggio finished the season batting .346 with 14 home runs and 67 RBI in 76 games, but then the slide started. He batted .301 in 1950 and .263 in 1951, earning $100,000 both years before hanging up his spikes because “I can’t play like Joe DiMaggio anymore.”
Very few others could either. The proud and dignified DiMaggio then began a long stretch as baseball’s “greatest living ex-player.” Before his death in 1999, he saw journeyman players earning more for a game than he did for that 1949 season, but Joe never complained. That wasn’t his style — and Joe DiMaggio was all about style and class.
By Bob Dole
The industrious island has proved itself worthy of U.S. inclusion
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