Monday, May 11, 2009

Red Sox Star Dominick Dimaggio Dies at 92

Former Boston Red Sox great Dom DiMaggio died Friday morning. He was 92 years old.

The Red Sox said DiMaggio, known as the "Little Professor" because of his eye glasses and 5-foot-9 frame, died at his Massachusetts home due to complications from a recent bout with pneumonia.

"Dom DiMaggio was a beloved member of the Red Sox organization for almost 70 years," said Red Sox principal owner John W. Henry in a statement. "Even after his playing days, Dom's presence at Fenway Park together with his teammates Ted Williams, Bobby Doerr and Johnny Pesky on numerous occasions reminded us all of a glorious Red Sox era of years past. He was a great teammate and an even better human being. His loss saddens us all but his contributions to the glory and tradition of our ballclub will forever be etched in the annals of Red Sox history."

DiMaggio was a seven-time All-Star center fielder in an 11-year career with the Red Sox from 1940 through 1953 -- with three years lost to military service. He still owns the club record for the longest hitting streak -- 34 consecutive games in 1949.

His streak was broken when brother Joe caught a sinking liner in the eighth inning of a 6-3 Red Sox victory over the New York Yankees on August 9.

"Dom and I played together for 10 years and he certainly deserves to be in the Hall of Fame," said Red Sox legend and former teammate Johnny Pesky. "He was a great player and, most of all, a great friend. I will miss him terribly."

Dom DiMaggio was the youngest of three brothers that played Major League Baseball. Joe had a Hall of Fame career with the Yankees from 1936-51, while Vince played for five National League teams from 1937-46.

In 1,399 games, Dom DiMaggio batted .298 with 87 homers and 618 runs batted in. He helped the Red Sox to the 1946 World Series, which they lost in seven games to the St. Louis Cardinals.

DiMaggio is survived by his wife of 61 years, Emily, three children and six grandchildren.

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