November 08, 2007

I kept holding out because I thought I was right: When you hit a lot of home runs, drive in a bunch of tallies, do a good job in the field and, on top of all that, bring in fans who never before went to ball games, you say to yourself, "Joe, you certainly meant something in that box office, even if you didn't mean a thing winning the pennant."

When he held out for more dough and returned to the team after spring training, rusty and battling injuries, the fans actually booed him, the writers were no longer complimentary. They "taught him a lesson, or confirmed a lesson he was already prepared to believe: They were fans, they were friends . . . as long as he was a winner. But that could be over in a day."

posted by justgary to baseball at 12:19 AM - 6 comments

Great link. It's funny to see how the issues of holdouts, big markets and small markets, and player salaries looked in DiMaggio's day. When I see him value love of the game and loyalty to team over a dollar, I can't help but think he was being suckered. I wonder what he thought about free agency when it finally came to baseball.

posted by rcade at 06:13 AM on November 08, 2007

Where did you find this, justgary? What a great history lesson it is. I am surprised that there was a "small market vs big market" issue back then, but it was more related to fan base than the depth of the owner's pockets. This is what baseball was like when I was growing up. The star players on your team tended to be there for a long time, and the only way many of them moved was through trades or retirement.

posted by Howard_T at 09:25 AM on November 08, 2007

Thanks for the post! Other great lines in that first link:

"Not because I had changed my mind about [what] I was entitled to but because the game gets into your blood."

"You see, baseball does things to you, and when spring comes, the sun shines, and you read about scores, you forget dough and grab yourself a bat."

I haven't felt that way about baseball in a very, very long time, unfortunately.

posted by redsnare at 02:24 PM on November 08, 2007

"With a club pay roll over $300,000, Colonel Ruppert did the best lie could for me..." I would hope we all realize that Joltin' Joe had this piece in Liberty magazine ghost-written for him, probably as a freelance gig for some newspaper sportswriter. I love the double meaning of "...the best lie..." metaphor. I'm not a fan of paying some guy 35 million dollars a year to play a kids' game, but I have my doubts Sylvester Stallone is an actor worth 20 million a picture. Except Stallone put butts in the seat, and so does A-Rod. When DiMaggio was asking for 40-grand, a front row box seat cost what? Three bucks? Kids could sit in the bleachers for a quarter, if they could get a quarter. Hot dogs were a dime and beer was a nickel. I resent like Hell $8 beers and 2 Million Dollar banjo hitters. But, like Joe, I love the game and will sacrifice for it. Would that my sacrifice might work out like DiMaggio's and I could boink the new Marilyn Monroe. (sigh)

posted by Monkeyhawk at 01:57 AM on November 09, 2007

Great link Gary, thanks. Even back in the days of DiMaggio prime, owner's felt as if they can give a player whatever they felt a player's value was and of course the player felt that they're worth more than what the owner thinks. I cannot agree or disagree with the owner/player but as a fan, I just want to see a great game played no matter how much is in the bank account of either or. It's a rarity in this day & age for a player to 'sacrifice' for the love of the game no matter how much their contract is for and just go out and play.

posted by BornIcon at 12:29 PM on November 09, 2007

Fantastic link. Monkeyhawk - I did a double take when I read the "best lie" passage. Do you think it might be a transcription error and should read "best he"? A few sentences later it reads "my clad" when it should have been "my dad". Anyway that was really something.

posted by vito90 at 06:12 PM on November 10, 2007

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