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Stories of a Sicilian Son: Joe DiMaggio

Updated on June 25, 2017

Joe DiMaggio, son of Italian immigrant parents from Sicily, graced the Yankee outfield for 13-years. He was a talented Centerfielder and even better hitter. He career ended with an impressive .325 lifetime batting average.

DiMaggio a 3x AL MVP, to some may be best known for his 1941 56-game hitting streak. That streak still stands today, 76-years later. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1955.

DiMaggio proudly served his country in WWII from 1943-1945 and still managed to hit 361 lifetime home runs.

There are many other famous people of Sicilian heritage that made a meaningful contribution to the Arts and Sports: Al Pacino, Sonny Bono, Ben Gazzara, Joe Mantegna, Armand Assante and Roy Campanella are a few that come to mind.

While I was living in Manhattan, when Ben Gazzara learned that our families where from the same town in Sicily (Canicatti) he welcomed me into his Madison Avenue Co-Op for a Christmas party. That was a memorable moment. Ben and his brother treated me like family that evening.

I'm a proud American who loves his country and the song “God Bless the USA" by Lee Greenwood. That song was so moving to many Americans post 9/11. However, your roots are your roots. It’s meaningful and interesting to discover them.


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