Dec 09, 1987: DiMaggio in awe
Submitted by BTGrimes on Sun, 12/09/2012 - 7:00am
DiMaggio the autograph seeker
WASHINGTON, D.C. - New York Yankee great Joe DiMaggio gave thousands of autographs during and after his Hall of Fame career, but on this date in 1987, Joltin Joe was an autograph seeker.
DiMaggio sent a baseball to the White House where President Ronald Reagan and Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev were meeting. DiMaggio had been one of 126 guests at a White House state dinner the night before. He met President Reagan who introduced him to the Soviet leader. DiMaggio made the autograph request, and both Reagan and Gorbachev sounded willing. All he needed was a baseball.
With the help of the President's daughter, Maureen Reagan, a baseball was in the hands of President Reagan as he and Gorbachev met the next day. She later had the ball with the two world leaders' autographs shipped to DiMaggio's San Francisco home.
This was reportedly the only time Joe DiMaggio asked for an autograph. New York Times columnist Joseph Durso quotes DiMaggio as saying, "That day became one of the nicest days of my life, and one of the most meaningful.''
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