Joseph DiMaggio was born on November 25, 1914 in California as the second to youngest child born to Sicilian immigrants Giuseppe and Rosalia DiMaggio who came from a family in the fishing trade. The family moved to nearby San Francisco when Joe was a year old.
After being processed on Ellis Island upon arrival, Giuseppe worked his way across America, eventually settling near Rosalia’s father in California on the east side of the San Francisco Bay Area. After four years, he earned enough money to send to Italy for Rosalia and their daughter, who was born after he had left for the United States.
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 neighbourhood. Joe’s team, sponsored by Rossi olive oil company, went onto the championship game where Joe hit two home runs, ultimately helping his team win the championship.
Joe’s older brother Vince made the roster for the San Francisco Seals, a minor league team, a little while after. When a shortstop was needed for the team, Vince recommended Joe, who then made his professional baseball debut on April 12, 1932 and went on to play three games with the Seals to finish out the 1932 season. Joe DiMaggio joined the Yankees for the 1936 season, making his major league debut on May 3 against the St. Louis Browns.
Joe immediately made a strong impact in his rookie season, helping the team to its first pennant in four years. Success only continued as they went on to defeat the New York Giants in the World Series. As a rookie, Joe hit .346 against the Giants and made a stunning catch in deep center field before a crowd of more than 43,000 fans, among them President Franklin D. Roosevelt.