Ferguson: The legacy of Joe DiMaggio and the San Francisco Seals

From Ryan Ferguson at The Guardian on May 21, 2015, with mention of SABR members Jacob Pomrenke and Dick Beverage:

On 14 July 1933, a cold Friday in San Francisco, 10,000 people flocked to Seals Stadium, where a young star had a date with history.

There was fanfare and pageantry, and even a neat pregame presentation, during which the slender, buck-toothed hero received a gold watch from the mayor. Shy and somber at eighteen years old, the elegant outfielder accepted the applause of a shivering crowd, which congratulated him on hitting safely in 49 consecutive games and begged him to break the Pacific Coast League record later that night.

The player looked sheepishly at the watch and, noticing an error on its engraving, whispered to the team president, Charles Graham, that his name had been misspelled. “DeMaggio,” it read, like most newspaper headlines that summer, but Joe, timorous and bashful, typically let it fly.

DiMaggio came to bat in the bottom of the first inning, with two runners aboard and the crowd sensing magic. He swung and missed at the first pitch, before lining a hard single up the middle, breaking the record, and sparking pandemonium.

Read the full article here: http://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2015/may/21/the-forgotten-story-of-joe-dimaggio-and-the-san-francisco-seals-talent-factory

Originally published: May 22, 2015. Last Updated: May 22, 2015.