Holiday Auction Closing December 7 ,2019
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 12/7/2019

Joe DiMaggio traded a $43,750 Yankees salary for a payment of $50 each month when he chose to enlist in the army on February 17, 1943. It was reported that he requested he receive no special treatment, yet he spent most of his time in the Army playing baseball, as did many other big-league stars. The purpose of DiMaggio and other big leaguers playing on the military teams was to keep the regular troops entertained, as well as keep public morale high. World War I had put an end to the baseball season in 1918, and President Franklin D. Roosevelt believed it was important for the country to keep baseball going in World War II.

DiMaggio was assigned to Special Services and stationed at California’s Santa Ana Air Base. The only major league player on his military team, he and his teammates played against semipro clubs, local college teams and Pacific Coast League teams. DiMaggio reached sergeant rank in August 1943. In order to ensure the professional players had some time overseas, DiMaggio and other major league players were transferred to Hawaii in Spring 1944. In time, the best military baseball players were stationed in Hawaii. Big names like Johnny Beazley, Joe Gordon, Pee Wee Reese and Red Ruffing, along with DiMaggio, were split into different teams. DiMaggio joined the Seventh Army Air Force team, which played a nearly full major league schedule. He continued to serve in the military and play for the Seventh Army Air Force team until he was given a medical release from the Army on September 14, 1945. He suited up again for the Yankees the following spring.

Presented is a rare, signed black and white panoramic photograph of Private DiMaggio and his colleagues in uniform. DiMaggio can be spotted sixth from the left in the back row of the photo of the 156 soldiers and officers arrayed in five rows. It is captioned by a sign in the photo “HQ. & HQ. Squadron Special Pilot Group Santa Ana Army Air Base March 16, 1943 Capt. C. H. Pritchard – Commanding.” The 10 x 31 ½ -inch black and white photograph shows DiMaggio and his fellow soldiers approximately one month after his enlistment in the Army.  The back of the photo has the signatures of each soldier and officer in the photograph, including DiMaggio, who has signed at the right margin in black pen, “Pvt. Joe DiMaggio – San Francisco, Calif.” There is a faint black stamp on the back of the photo attributing the photo to “The Grant Co. Commercial Photographers 4117 Crenshaw - Los Angeles Tel. AXminster 29595”. The photo has the inscription “4/2/43” in black ink on the back below the signatures.  

DiMaggio played his entire 13-year career in Major League Baseball for the New York Yankees. Born to Italian immigrants in California, he is widely considered one of the greatest baseball players of all time and is perhaps best known for his 56-game hitting streak (May 15–July 16, 1941), a record that still stands.  DiMaggio was a three-time Most Valuable Player Award winner and an All-Star in each of his 13 seasons. During his tenure with the Yankees, the club won 10 American League pennants and nine World Series championships. At the time of his retirement after the 1951 season, he ranked fifth in career home runs (361) and sixth in career slugging percentage (.579). He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1955 and was voted the sport's greatest living player in a poll taken during the baseball's centennial year of 1969. This item comes with a LOA from Steve Grad of Beckett Authentication (A25405).

1943 Joe DiMaggio Signed Original 31.5 X 10 Panoramic Army Photograph (Beckett)
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $1,500.00
Final prices include buyers premium.: $1,845.00
Number Bids: 1
Auction closed on Sunday, December 8, 2019.
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