December 11, 1951 – 58 years ago on this day, The Yankee Clipper, Joltin Joe DiMaggio, officially retires from Major League Baseball after a legendary 13-year career that sees him play in 1,736 games.
In those 13 years, DiMaggio won nine World Series titles (1936, ’37, ’38, ’39, ’41, ’47, ’49, ’50, ’51), played in 13 all-star games (only player in the history of the game to play in an all-star game every year of his career), won three MVP awards, lead the league in home runs twice, RBI’s twice, batting average twice, slugging percentage twice, with a career OPS+ of 155. In 12 of his 13 seasons DiMaggio walked more than he struck out including 1941 where he struck out only 13 times, but walked 76 times. In 1941, DiMaggio set a baseball record that may never be broken when he hit in 56 consecutive games from May 15 until July 16.
His career is quite amazing, but it is crazy to think just how much better his numbers could have been if he hadn’t stopped for three years (1943, ’44, ’45) to fight in WWII. A true Yankee icon.