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DiMaggio Impressed by Yankee Youth

Mar. 22, 1963 - Far removed from the tumult and the shouting, Joe DiMaggio is having the time of his life while doing some important work in the game that made him famous. The famed Yankee Clipper currently is serving as a sort of professor emeritus in the training camp of the world champion Yankees. He doesn’t work with the stars. “After all,” says Joe with a grin, “when they’ve won as many world championships as so many of them have, there isn’t much an old gaffer like me can teach them. But these kids are wonderful.” He continued: “I don’t think I ever appreciated before the tremendous enthusiasm and determination these youngsters have for making good. At times, it is hard to keep from laughing the way they tear into a rage over some of their own mistakes. Take this young Curt Blefary. The other day, in a practice game, he was called out on strikes. There were tears in his eyes as he said, ‘For four days, I’ve been waiting for just that sort of pitch. I know that’s one pitch I can murder. But what did I do when I got it? I took it for a third strike! I knew I should have signed that football contract. I’ll never learn this game!’” “But he will,” added DiMag, “and so will a lot of others here. They’re a fine collection of boys, and you’ve got to admire the way they listen and try to do what they’re told.” Needless to say, the admiration is mutual. DiMaggio’s method of teaching is as smooth as was his flawless play in the years he patrolled the outfield in Yankee Stadium. The kids in particular look upon him as something that has just stepped down from Mount Olympus.


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