DiMaggio was a seven-time All Star who still holds the record for the longest consecutive game hitting streak in Boston Red Sox history.
Known as the "Little Professor" because of his eyeglasses and 5-foot-9, 168-pound frame, DiMaggio hit safely in 34 consecutive games in 1949. The streak was broken on Aug. 9 when his big brother caught a sinking liner in the eighth inning of a 6-3 Red Sox win over the Yankees.
The younger DiMaggio also had a 27-game hitting streak in 1951, which still ranks as the fifth longest in Red Sox history. Joe set the major league record with a 56-game hitting streak with the Yankees in 1941.
It's that last sentence, unfortunately, that has always -- and now will always -- color Dominic's legacy. It's been said that if DiMaggio's last name was "Smith" he'd be in the Hall of Fame. I'm not sure that's true, but as it was, he was always compared to his older brother Joe and found inferior, even if he was himself one hell of a ballplayer. According to Bill James' Win Shares system, he was a far better defensive centerfielder than his brother (both brothers, actually), and if he had played through World War II, and if he had not retired at 35, there is a decent chance that he would have made the Hall of Fame.
But there are a lot of "ifs" for guys of that era, and despite some support from the Veterans' Committee, Dom always fell a bit short.
R.I.P, Little Professor