Joe DiMaggio’s world was on fire in the early fall of 1937.
After a solid debut season with the New York Yankees in 1936, the 22-year-old outfielder had become the talk of the town after hitting .346 with 46 home runs. Now, a rare news photo from that time showing a smiling DIMaggio, awaiting the start of the 1937 World Series is at auction.
A caption, carrying an October 2, 1937 date, is attached to the back. That was a Saturday—the day before the final game of the regular season and it wouldn’t have been unusual for the Yankees to be in a relatively relaxed state of mind. They had clinched the American League pennant with plenty of time to spare, leading by 13 games on the final weekend, when the photo was taken. DiMaggio drove in his final three runs of the season on that day, finishing with a remarkable total of 167.
Posed with pop-up shades on his head, DiMaggio was about to join teammate Lou Gehrig and the rest of the Yanks in a five-game dismantling of their crosstown rivals, the Giants. DiMaggio opened the series October 6 by going two-for-four with 2 RBI. His home run in Game 5 helped clinch the second of four straight World Series championships for the Yankees.
The 6×8 photo remains in excellent condition, having been preserved in a newspaper archive for decades after it was produced by Acme News Service. It is one of several hundred news, sports and entertainment-focused images in RMY Auctions’ July sale, set to close Sunday evening.