Joe DiMaggio

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In 1951, Joe DiMaggio retired from baseball and became known to generations of Americans as Marilyn Monroe's husband and Mr. Coffee. The former outfielder can be credited with changing and revolutionizing how his autograph was sold and marketed. A smart businessman, who kept the first dollar he earned, DiMaggio was a staple on the autograph circuit for much of the 1980s and 1990s. Through it all, his autograph hardly changed in appearance from the 1940s until his death in 1999. Fans and collectors were always treated to a beautiful signature of DiMaggio, who signed his name legibly on every item he signed.

His autograph went through developing stages early in his life, when he was still wrestling with exactly how to sign his name. While his signature went through some changes in the 1940s, it remained almost the same throughout his life. As the years progressed, especially after the 1970s, DiMaggio's long and looping "g"s in his last name became smaller but, overall, his autograph remained a work of art. Vintage material of DiMaggio is not as scarce as some contemporaries of his period. DiMaggio was constantly besieged by fans to sign autographs and was typically gracious, signing his name to baseballs and autograph books.

As was a common practice with major league players, DiMaggio employed the services of clubhouse attendants to sign team baseballs from time to time and, for a short period during the late 1970s and 1980s, his sister would sign his fan mail.

A legendary Yankee and member of the Baseball Hall of Fame, DiMaggio's autograph is an important part of any collection.

Subject Profile

Joseph Paul DiMaggio (1914-1999) is considered one of the greatest hitters and centerfielders in the history of the New York Yankees and Major League Baseball. Hall of Fame Red Sox Ted Williams referred to DiMaggio as “the greatest all-around player I ever saw.” DiMaggio was selected to 13 All-Star games, won nine World Series and won the American League Most Valuable Player award three times (1939, 1941, 1947). Joe DiMaggio finished his stunning career with 2,214 hits, 361 home runs, 1,537 RBI and a .325 batting average. In 13 seasons with the New York Yankees, Joe DiMaggio struck out a mere 369 times. “Joltin’ Joe” DiMaggio was not only a baseball player, but also an American icon during the 1950s and 1960s, from marrying American’s sweetheart Marilyn Monroe to being immortalized in song by Simon and Garfunkel. Joe DiMaggio continues to hold one of the “unbreakable” records in baseball when he hit in 56 consecutive games in 1941. “The Yankee Clipper” was the middle of three DiMaggio brothers, Vince and Dom, to play in the Major Leagues. Joseph Paul DiMaggio was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1955.