By Ed Odeven
Joe DiMaggio won a trio of American League MVP awards in his legendary career.
The Yankee Clipper was named MVP twice on the same day, Nov. 27, 1941, and again exactly six years later.
The Hall of Fame center fielder received his first MVP honor in 1939, his fourth season in the big leagues. For the World Series champion New York Yankees, he hit .381 with 30 home runs and 126 RBIs while winning his first of back-to-back AL batting titles.
Two years later, when DiMaggio had a 56-game hitting streak, he finished with a .357 batting average, 30 homers and 125 RBIs. He whacked 43 doubles and 11 triples. He struck out 13 times in 622 plate appearances while drawing 76 walks.
In 1941 MVP voting, DiMaggio received 291 points to Ted Williams’ 254. The Boston Red Sox star hit .406 that year. New York won 109 regular-season games and capped the year by winning the World Series; Boston had 84 victories.
In 1947, Joltin’ Joe hit .315 with 20 homers, 31 doubles, 10 triples and 97 RBIs for the World Series champions.
Statistics alone didn’t measure DiMaggio’s impact on the game. He made the game look easy with his graceful yet powerful swing and brilliance on the basepaths and in the outfield.
The Northern California native took great pride in his work ethic.
“I was out there to play and give it all I had,” DiMaggio said in 1991, according to The Associated Press. “I looked at it like, ‘I’m doing my best.’ If I got the hit, fine. I always felt good that I had given my best.”