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June 15, 2012

BP Unfiltered

The Problem With DiMaggio

by R.J. Anderson

Fortune Magazine republishes a piece from their archives weekly. This week, their article of choice deals with the 1946 Yankees. While the focus here is on the Yankees as a business, there are enough basebally tidbits to make it a worthwhile read regardless of your interest in baseball finances. Like this one:

At center field the incomparable Joe DiMaggio catches, as Joe McCarthy puts it, "three-base hits every day," and cuts off many a run with the best throwing arm in baseball. DiMaggio was snared by the Yankees from San Francisco for $25,000 and three players, after other clubs had lowered their bids because of his reported bad knee. The Yankees were the only ones who thought to have the knee examined by a competent surgeon. DiMaggio earns over $40,000* a year from the Yankees' picks up more from radio appearances and the like. He reads the financial as well as the sports pages, and has as fine a case of ulcers as any businessman.

Oh, and this one:

McCarthy is possibly the best manager in baseball but professes to know not why, unless it is because he has picked up some odds and ends in forty years of campaigning. He plays the known percentages in baseball, as all managers do, but he has a little extra patience and understanding in dealing with young players, and a knack of knowing when to start a pitcher and when to take him out of the game. Once, to be agreeable, Joe took a baseball test that Columbia University's Teachers College had designed for its graduate students in physical education. He scored sixty-three, barely passing. A Miss Lucy J. Smoot, elderly elementary-school principal from Kansas City, was tops with a B-plus.


R.J. Anderson is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see R.J.'s other articles. You can contact R.J. by clicking here

4 comments have been left for this article. (Click to hide comments)

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What does the asterisk on the $40,000 figure signify?

Jun 15, 2012 15:00 PM
rating: 0
BP staff member R.J. Anderson
BP staff

To quote the article, "*Players' salaries are never matters of firm record. Sports writers base their estimates on a compromise of unofficial figures leaked by clubowners and players. Some of the estimates: DiMaggio, $42,500; Stirnweiss, $16,000; Dickey, $22,000; Chandler, $20,000. First year players average around $5,000 or better with the Yankees."

Jun 16, 2012 08:35 AM
BP staff member Jason Wojciechowski
BP staff


Jun 15, 2012 23:04 PM

I know that Fortune (and Time) authors weren't named in those days, but does anyone know who wrote the article?

Jun 23, 2012 20:39 PM
rating: 0
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