THIS DAY IN NY SPORTS HISTORY
Wednesday, Feb. 17, 1943
Joe DiMaggio enlists in the military
Yankee legend Joe DiMaggio left behind baseball to enlist in the U.S. Army during World War II, signing up at an armed services induction center in San Francisco. DiMaggio, 27, was coming off a season in which he batted .305 with 21 home runs and 114 RBIs, led the Yankees to a World Series appearance, and was the sport's highest-paid player at $43,000. The superstar wasn't deployed to Europe, though, and spent most of his time as a physical education instructor in California and Hawaii before being discharged in September 1945. DiMaggio returned to the Yankees in '46 and hit .290 with 25 homers and 95 RBIs in 132 games.