Babe Ruth was gone but Yankee fans had a new superstar to watch in 1936. Joe DiMaggio of San Francisco, a 21-year-old Pacific Coast Leaguer proved a quick study at the major league level. His presence in the lineup ahead of Lou Gehrig proved to be the missing ingredient to return the Yanks to the World Series for the first time since 1932.
When it was all over that season, the Yankees had once again returned to the top and young Joe D had padded his blossoming bank account to the tune of $6,430.55. It was his World Series winner’s check—a huge amount during the Great Depression and the equivalent to over $100,000 today.
A rare composite photograph taken 81 years ago this month shows the young star happily hoisting the payment for photographers and a close up image of exactly what that check looked like. It’s one of over 400 photographs in RMY Auctions’ October online catalog.
The 7 ½ x 8” photo carries a date stamp on the back and aside from some very mild corner and edge wear, remains in excellent condition.
DiMaggio set the Yankees rookie home run record that season, belting 29 in just 138 games—a record broken this year by Aaron Judge. He hit .323 and drove in 125 runs for the Yanks, who beat the crosstown Giants in six games to win the Series.