He’d made his Pacific Coast League debut as a San Francisco Seals shortstop at the tail end of the 1932 season. As a new season unfolded, 18-year-old Joe DiMaggio was a regular in the lineup and on his way to making baseball history.
His exploits didn’t go unnoticed.
A photo distributed through Acme News Service was sent to newspapers as word spread of his remarkable hitting streak. It was at a PCL record-tying 49 games in mid-July and the teenage son of immigrants was happy to smile for the photographer.
Now an original copy of that 4 1/4″ x 6″ photo, including the caption attached to the back, is up for sale. RMY Auctions is offering it as part of their Spring Collectors Sale. Bidding has already topped $500 with the auction set to run through April 6.
While he’d become a household name eight years later by virtue of his now legendary 56-game streak, DiMaggio’s 1933 run was even longer. It began on May 27 and would last through July 25, reaching 61 games and making him a major attraction. He’d already become established as an outfielder by his first full season with the Seals. An injury slowed his progression as a big league prospect in 1934, but the Yankees signed him after receiving positive reports on his health and by 1936, he was in the Yankees lineup, batting in front of Lou Gehrig.
The photo is one of the headliners in RMY’s auction, which includes over 600 lots in all.