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The DiMaggios: Three Brothers, Their Passion for Baseball, Their Pursuit of the American Dream

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Overview

The great American story of three brothers—Joltin' Joe, Dom, and Vince Dimaggio—and the great American game, baseball, that would consume their lives

More than three hundred fifty sets of brothers have played in the major leagues since the 1870s. But few have had the skill, the charisma, or the success of the DiMaggio brothers. In The DiMaggios, journalist Tom Clavin draws on a wealth of source materials, interviews with family members and teammates, and in-depth reporting to ...

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The DiMaggios: Three Brothers, Their Passion for Baseball, Their Pursuit of the American Dream

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Overview

The great American story of three brothers—Joltin' Joe, Dom, and Vince Dimaggio—and the great American game, baseball, that would consume their lives

More than three hundred fifty sets of brothers have played in the major leagues since the 1870s. But few have had the skill, the charisma, or the success of the DiMaggio brothers. In The DiMaggios, journalist Tom Clavin draws on a wealth of source materials, interviews with family members and teammates, and in-depth reporting to reveal how three kids from an immigrant family of eleven found their way to the upper echelons of American sports and popular culture. A vivid portrait of a family and the ways in which their shifting fortunes and status shaped their relationships, it is also a transporting exploration of an era and a culture, using our national pastime, baseball, as a lens to view and understand American society in the twentieth century.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Readers familiar with Joe DiMaggio's 56-game hitting streak or his brief marriage to Marilyn Monroe may not know much more about him, including that two of his brothers, Vince and Dominic (Dom), also played major league baseball. Clavin (editor, East Hampton Independent; Gil Hodges) aims here to present a thumbnail sketch of the DiMaggio family and its history, discuss the brothers' experiences in pro baseball, describe their relationships with one another, and highlight their lives after baseball. The book provides an excellent guide to the ups and downs of the brothers' seasons in the sport, from pennant races to World Series championships, as it introduces readers to other heroes of the era, such as Ted Williams. For a deeper exploration of the brothers' relationships with one another, readers may want to try Jerome Charyn's Joe DiMaggio: The Long Vigil, or, for a closer look at Dominic DiMaggio and his Boston Red Sox teammates, David Halberstam's The Teammates. VERDICT Baseball fans as well as armchair historians of the culture before, during, and after World War II will be most interested in this book.—Nathan Rupp, Yale Univ. Lib., New Haven, CT
Kirkus Reviews
A fine biography of the greatest brother combination ever to play major league baseball. Vincent, Joe and Dominic DiMaggio lived out the American dream. Three brothers of 11 children born to Italian immigrants, the three boys excelled first in the Pacific Coast League for the local San Francisco Seals and then, one-by-one, they rose to play in the major leagues. Vince, the eldest of the three, broke his father's prohibition against wasting time with games and thus paved the way for his brothers. Joe, the middle of the three, was the legend who married movie stars but was also cold and distant. Dominic, the bespectacled youngest and smallest of the trio, was a star in his own right but lived in the shadow of Joe. The journeyman Vince had the most trouble adjusting to post-baseball life and struggled just to make ends meet. Joe continued to be reticent and reserved, never recovering from his star-crossed marriage to Marilyn Monroe, and effectively made a career out of being Joe DiMaggio, legend. Dominick meanwhile, had the most grounded and, in many ways, successful post-baseball career, using his intellect to become a successful businessman. A fourth West Coast native, Ted Williams, plays almost as much of a role in the book as the brothers DiMaggio. He and teammate Dominic continued to be close for the remainder of their lives, with Williams always maintaining that Dominic belonged in the Hall of Fame. Clavin clearly agrees, and it is a strength of this evocative book that while Joe remains the legend, Dominic comes across as the most admirable DiMaggio in the end. Simon and Garfunkel famously asked, "Where Have You Gone, Joe DiMaggio?" Clavin reminds readers that Joe is not the only DiMaggio worth remembering.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062183781
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 3/18/2014
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 281,635
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Tom Clavin

Tom Clavin is the author of fifteen books, including biographies of Roger Maris and Gil Hodges. He was a contributor to the New York Times for fifteen years, and the publications for which he has written include Golf Magazine, Manhattan, Men's Journal, Parade, and Smithsonian. He lives in Sag Harbor, New York.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 14, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    A good read for all baseball fans. Also a great story of immigra

    A good read for all baseball fans. Also a great story of immigrant children that lived the American dream. Of course Joe is the most famous of the three. But as a Red Sox fan I had known of Dom - but had never studied his career more than the stories from my father who had been a Dom fan. The other brother, Vince, helped to make Joe a Hall of Famer but is little known today himself - but he was a good hitter but struck out to much. He should have worn glasses as did Dom - who did not have power but hit for average, in the clutch as well as had a cannon of an arm in centerfield. I had known that the Red Sox lost the 1946 WS by a run in the late innings - I had not known that the SL Cardinal who scored from first later said he would not have attempted it had Dom not been pulled from the game due to a twisted ankle. A lot more to learn as well when you read the book - and not all happy facts. But a story all Americans should know.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted May 14, 2013

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