A Look Back at Dom DiMaggio

May 9, 2009

The Couch Potato Chronicles again offered me inspiration for a post.  Thanks TCP.

Image courtesy of TSN/Icon SMI

Dom DiMaggio passed away this week at 92.  He was overshadowed by his famous brother Joe and egendary teammate Ted Williams.  He didn’t have the hitting streak or Marilyn Monroe, but he was an exceptional player nonetheless.  He was named to seven All-Star teams in his eleven seasons with Boston.  Here’s a look at the Little Professor’s career numbers:

1399 Games
5640 At Bats
.298 Batting Average
1400 Runs
1680 Hits
308 Doubles
57 Triples
87 HRs
618 RBIs
750 Walks
100 SBs

Solid numbers, which are even better when you consider he missed three seasons due to  military service during World War II.  It is conceivable that he would have been a Hall of Famer if it weren’t for the War.

In 1941 & 1942 he averaged 113 Runs, which were the years prior to his service.  When he returned he averaged 80 Runs for two season before averaging 124 in a four year span from ’48 to ’51.  It is not a reach to suggest that if he (and Ted Williams) did not miss that time he could have scored 1500 career Runs, which is virtually a lock for the Hall of Fame.  Dom averaged 121 Runs from ’41-’41 & ’48 to ’51.  If you subtract the 160 Runs he scored in ’46 & ’47 and replace those Run totals, along with the years he missed, with 121 Runs per year and he would score 1491 Runs.  Considering he we missed some prime years when he was 26-28, perhaps that number would have been higher.  He also an All-Star every year but his first two and in 1947.  He very likely would have been named to three more.  1500 Runs and ten All-Star appearances make for a pretty compelling case for Hall of Fame acceptance.

Here’s a look at his top ten finishes:
Batting Average – 3 Times
On-Base Percentage – 3 Times
Slugging Percentage- Once
OPS – Once
Games - Twice (Led league in 1948)
At Bat – 6 Times (Led league in 1948 & 1951)
Runs – 7 Times (Led league in 1950 & 1951)
Hits – 7 Times
Doubles – 6 Times
Triples - Once (Led league in 1950)
HRs – Once
Total Bases – 3 Times 
Extra-Base Hits – Twice
Walks – 3 Times
SBs – 7 Times (Led league in 1950)
Hit by Pitch – 3 Times (Led league in 1941)

Hall of Fame  Yardsticks

Black Ink Batting – 12 (193), Average HOFer ≈ 27
Gray Ink Batting – 102 (215), Average HOFer ≈ 144
Hall of Fame Monitor Batting – 62 (299), Likely HOFer ≈ 100
Hall of Fame Standards Batting – 27 (337), Average HOFer ≈ 50

While the overall numbers aren’t there for the Hall of Fame, it is without question that he left his mark on baseball and those who knew him.  He will be missed.

Statistics from Baseball-Reference.com

Image from Museum of the City of San Francisco

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13 Responses so far | Have Your Say!

  1. Larry
    May 9th, 2009 at 8:14 am #

    Great post. He was a terrific player from all accounts I heard
    From Ted Williams to Joe D. and Phil Rizzuto among others raved about him.

  2. LestersLegends
    May 9th, 2009 at 8:36 am #

    It’s sad when one of the greats pass, especially when you hear about the current crop of players.

  3. Brad
    May 9th, 2009 at 9:03 am #

    What do you think about the possibility of the Sox retiring his number after JD Drew is gone? He played 10 years and had near-miss HOF numbers … and he is in the Red Sox hall of fame. I think the Sox letting Pesky on the facade will possibly open the door for Dom to get his number up there as well. I know Pesky is a “Sox lifer” but still … he’s not in the hall of fame so there is a chance that Dom will get the same treatment.

  4. Larry
    May 9th, 2009 at 9:36 am #

    Good idea Brad

  5. LestersLegends
    May 9th, 2009 at 9:48 am #

    I think that’s a tradition that needs to be changed. Dwight Evans should have his number retired as well wether or not he is in the HOF or not.

  6. Larry
    May 9th, 2009 at 10:01 am #

    Evans should have his # retired.No question about it. The Yankees have retired Maris, Mattingly, Billy Martin and Elston Howard numbers and none of them are in the HOF but they are Yankee Legends. Dom Dimaggio and Evans are Red Sox Legends and I am sure there are others, I would Retire Schillings Number along with Pedro and I am sure you can name a few more.

  7. LestersLegends
    May 9th, 2009 at 10:06 am #

    I wouldn’t retire Schilling’s. He has a decent chance of making the HOF. I think Pedro is a no-doubter unless something comes out about him. He is the best Pitcher in MLB history compared to his era. What he did in the steroid era is unbelievable. I’m not sure he pitched long enough for the club to retire his number. Maybe the Sox HOF, but not his number.

  8. Brad
    May 9th, 2009 at 10:06 am #

    I totally agree with that Ryan … Dewey deserves to be up there on that facade just as much as Yaz, Ted, Fisk, etc. He is a Sox legend for sure … I do wish they would drop the HOF requirement for guys who deserve to have their number retired.

  9. Brad
    May 9th, 2009 at 10:09 am #

    I do think that the 10 years with the Sox is a good rule.

    Otherwise, there would be too many people who deserve to have their number retired for 5-8 years of greatness (like Pedro)

  10. LestersLegends
    May 9th, 2009 at 10:18 am #

    Ten years is a good mark. I’m glad we hammered it out. The three of us should be hired by each team to solve problems like this

  11. Larry
    May 9th, 2009 at 10:25 am #

    Yeah Just what you need. A Yankee fan to help decide what Red Sox Number should be retired.

  12. Brad
    May 9th, 2009 at 10:37 am #

    I’ll make the phone call to set up the interview … maybe the three of us can be co-commissioners of MLB too … perhaps the steroids problems would actually go away with someone who is able to do the job in office.

  13. LestersLegends
    May 9th, 2009 at 8:23 pm #

    Larry – you’re a baseball fan first and foremost. Same with me, which is why we get along so well despite our affiliations.
    brad – set it up.

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