BASEBALL'S FIRST FAMILY: THE DI MAGGIO BROTHERS
How many of you know that Joe Di Maggio had two brothers who played in the major leagues? Older brother Vincenzo “Vince” Di Maggio played as an outfielder with the Boston Braves, the Cincinatti Reds, the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Philadelphia Phillies, and the New York Giants. He had a career batting average of .249 with 125 home runs and 584 runs batted in. If Joe was the Yankee Clipper, younger brother Domenico “Dom” Di Maggio was the Little Professor, because he wore eyeglasses. He led the American League twice in runs scored and once in triples, batted .300 four times, and had a career average of .298 over 11 seasons, all with the Red Sox. He was a seven-time All-Star.
There were two other brothers, Mike and Tom, who worked on fishing boats with their father, Giuseppe. Giuseppe Di Maggio immigrated to America in 1898 from Isola Delle Femmine, Sicily, leaving his wife, Rosalia Mercurio, who was pregnant, behind. Rosalia’s father was already in California and he had invited the young struggling couple to join him. Giuseppe was the first one to go through Ellis Island and to work his way to Pittsburg, California. After four years, he earned enough money to send for his wife and daughter.
They had nine children, five boys and four girls. They first lived in Martinez, a small fishing village 25 miles northeast of the Golden Gate, and they moved to North Beach, in that time a heavily Italian section near the San Francisco waterfront, the year Joe was born. Giuseppe hoped that his five sons would become fishermen but only two followed his footsteps. Joe Di Maggio hated cleaning the fishing boat when he was young so his father used to call him "good for nothing". Imagine that!