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jerseygary 07-12-2019 12:44 PM

1943 Joe DiMaggio Army Air Force Scorecard
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I'm in the process of selling off some of my scorecard collection to clear space, and I thought I would share some of the more interesting ones.

This is a neat scorecard from Joe DiMaggio's "lost" 1943 season. After being heckled by fans throughout the 1942 season and his marrage on the rocks, Joe enlisted in the Army Air Force in early 1943 and served till the end of the war. His first station was at the Santa Ana Army Air Base in Orange County, California. Joe's assignment at the base was as an athletic instructor and to play on the baseball team. Joe played the entire 1943 season with Santa Ana where he endured a slow start that garnered him some bad press, but ended up having a decent year, including a 27-game hitting streak. He had a hard time adjusting to the amateur pitching he had to face, and wound up with a large amounts of walks, which did not do him any good as the soldiers and sailors who came to the games wanted to see the great DiMaggio hit, not walk.

Although DiMaggio hated playing baseball in the army and tried to get a combat assignment, his appearance with the Santa Ana Air Base team was a source of much-needed morale for the thousands of troops he played before.

Over the years I have found several WWII scorecards from special exhibition all-star games that feature DiMaggio, this is the only scorecard from the Santa Ana team I have seen. Even the museum in Santa Ana where the base once stood did not have a single copy of the team's scorecard. Can't be too many of these out there, as most were probably tossed by the their owners before they shipped out overseas.

This scorecard was for the April 18, 1943 game against the Kirtland Field "Flying Kelly's" in Albuquerque. Over 7,500 army air force personnel watched as Joe D banged out two doubles and a triple in four at bats. Despite his offensive onslaught, Kelly Field won, 3 to 2.

The scorecard is on a neat blue paper stock and has been partially scored in pencil. Neat (and rare) piece of WWII history.

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jerseygary 07-12-2019 02:10 PM

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Thought I would add that I'm currently working on an extended article on DiMaggio's 1943 season. with Santa Ana, and this is the illustration I did to accompany it:

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earlywynnfan 07-12-2019 02:50 PM

May I ask where you found that Joe wanted a combat role? Everything I've read implied that he was basically ticked off to even have to serve and wanted nothing more than to get out.

Cool scorecard, though, what are you asking for it?


jerseygary 07-12-2019 03:12 PM

I read it in one of his biographies, but I don't recall off hand. He was pissed at having to serve in the army, though. From what I remember reading, he was fed up with being brought around like a show pony and being a pawn for the brass hats with tons of publicity obligations. After a year of that I think he just wanted to serve anonymously and get it over with.

As far as an asking price, I haven't determined that yet. I thought I would show some of my collection off on net54 and see if anyone was interested.

jerseygary 08-12-2019 12:58 PM

I have listed this and my other scorecards on ebay:

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