Seventy four years ago, Joe DiMaggio made his first appearance for the Yankees. DiMaggio had the reputation of being a humble individual on the playing field and a loner off it, but in his retirement he was a loquacious and interesting speaker when caught at the right moment.
This will crystallize DiMaggio's aura: A throng of reporters could be talking to Mickey Mantle, but when DiMaggio entered, the entourage would leave Mantle in an instant. The Mick had a good enough nature to grin about it.
For the New York media, DiMaggio’s appearances usually occurred on Oldtimers Day when he would be given the manager’s office in old Yankee Stadium. He would talk about all things baseball and had an encyclopedic knowledge of the 1940s.
One topic that was way off base was any mention of his former wife, Marilyn Monroe. One year, DiMaggio had just finished discussing a topic when a question was asked about his late wife. Expressionless, DiMaggio stood up and walked out of the room to the everlasting chagrin of the witless questioner.