The real Joe DiMaggio, remembered by the man who knew him best in the last decade of his life - candid and little-known stories about icons from Ted Williams, Lou Gehrig, and his Yankees teammates on the field to Marilyn Monroe, Frank Sinatra, and other great celebrities off the field.
Dr. Rock Positano, an internationally renowned foot specialist in New York City, was introduced to Joe DiMaggio by the dean of New York sports writers, Bill Gallo, in 1990. The Yankee Clipper's career-ending heel spur injury and botched surgeries brought them together. During the time Dr. Positano successfully treated the Yankee Clipper, a friendship slowly developed. As Dr. Positano would learn, DiMaggio moved very carefully and deliberately.
Dinner with DiMaggio follows the story of their friendship from its starstruck beginning through all its highs and lows over the next decade. Forty years younger than DiMaggio, Dr. Positano became a surrogate son at a time when his actual son was suffering from substance-abuse problems. Positano's accounts of their times together reveal DiMaggio's many rituals and quirks: the same meals at the same restaurants, the same pals in New York and Florida, jacket and tie everywhere. At the pinnacle of his fame, DiMaggio had learned to be guarded and carefully managed his image and private life. As his trust in his young friend grew, DiMaggio opened up about Marilyn but also about his first wife, Dorothy Arnold, the mother of his son and the real love of his life. The Yankee Clipper knew everyone, and Positano shares never-before-told stories of famous people DiMaggio admired and those he didn't.
This is DiMaggio as he really was: sometimes cranky and calculating but more often charming, generous, and loyal and always big-hearted when it came to kids. The stories and experiences he shared with Rock Positano comprise an intimate portrait of one of the great stars of baseball and one of the icons of the 20th century.
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The Control Freak and the Sycophant
Nothing, thank you
Unless you are a baseball fanatic, a devoted Yankee fan, or someone who gushes over wall to wall celeb gossip, this book can be a long read. The principal is shown to be an uncaring tyrant toward the author and people around him. The author is so full of his unexpected role as DiMaggio's Boswell that he let's himself be humiliated time and again with just the slightest resistance. There's plenty of baseball lore, and juicy gossip about Marilyn Monroe, Sinatra, the Kennedys and a raft of politicos. But it gets tiring after a while.