Pre-Yankees

Joe DiMaggio’s first experience in a baseball uniform came when he played in the Boys Club League with other kids from his North Beach neighborhood. Joe’s team, sponsored by a local olive oil distributor known as Rossi, went onto the championship game where Joe hit two home runs, helping the team to win the championship.

Soon after, in March 1932, Joe’s older brother Vince made the roster for the minor league team—San Francisco Seals. When a shortstop was needed, Vince recommended Joe, who then made his professional baseball debut on April 12, 1935 and went on to play three games with the Seals to finish out the 1932 season.

In his first full year playing in the minor league, Joe batted .340 with 169 RBIs and 28 home runs. Also during this season, Joe astonished teammates, coaches and fans with a 61-game hitting streak. It was then that Joe realized baseball could be a legitimate career for him and quickly began to make a national name for himself, as professional scouts flocked to see Joe perform.

Seals Owner Charlie Graham sold Joe to the New York Yankees in November 1934 for $25,000 and five players, although a knee injury kept Joe from reporting to the Yankees immediately that year. Instead, Joe spent one more year with the Seals before joining the Yankees, and he finished his minor league career with a .389 batting average, 154 RBIs and 34 home runs.