Dominic DiMaggio, the bespectacled Boston Red Sox center fielder who made his own mark on the major leagues despite playing in the shadow of Hall of Fame brother Joe and teammate Ted Williams, died early Friday at his Massachusetts home. He was 92.
DiMaggio died at about 1 a.m. with the Red Sox television replay of Thursday night’s game on in the background, said his son, Dominic Paul.
“He was in and out of consciousness, but he was acknowledging it. He was a Red Sox fan until the end,” his son said.
DiMaggio was surrounded by his family, according to his wife, Emily. He had been battling pneumonia, the Red Sox said in a statement.
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. Joe set the major league record with a 56-game hitting streak with the Yankees in 1941.
The oldest of the three center field-playing DiMaggio brothers was Vince, who had a 10-year major league career with five National League teams.
Vince died in October 1986, while Joe died in March 1999.
Arizona hires Hinch
After firing Bob Melvin, the Arizona Diamondbacks have turned their fortunes over to a 34-year-old former catcher with no experience as a manager.
A.J. Hinch was introduced as Melvin’s replacement as manager at a news conference, where general manager Josh Byrnes acknowledged the hiring was “unconventional.”
Hinch was in his fourth season as the Diamondbacks’ director of player development. He becomes the youngest manager in the majors since Eric Wedge was hired by Cleveland in October of 2002.
Hinch gets a contract through 2012.
Clearing the bases
Oakland has acquired infielder Adam Kennedy from Tampa Bay for a player to be named. Kennedy, the 2002 ALCS MVP while with the Angels, will be assigned to Oakland’s Triple-A affiliate in Sacramento. … Former Philadelphia manager Danny Ozark, who died Thursday, managed the Spokane Indians of the Pacific Coast League in 1963 and ’64. Ozark’s ’63 Indians finished 98-60 and lost to Oklahoma City 4-3 in the best-of-7 championship.
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