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Posts Tagged ‘Joe Digangi’

Photo Courtesy of the NY Times

Joe Digangi passed away last year on July 14th. The name may ring a bell, or you may be asking yourself, who is that man? Joe Digangi was one of the last links to some of the Yankees greatest teams of all-time. He served as the New York Yankees bullpen catcher from 1933-1941. The man got to know the likes of Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Bill Dickey and so on. He knew everybody.

He warmed up some of the greatest pitchers in franchise history, including Red Ruffing, Lefty Gomez and Herb Pennock. Joe was actually warming up the starting pitcher in the Yankee Stadium bullpen when Lou Gehrig delivered his famous “Luckiest man on the face of the Earth” speech. I’m sure the man could go on for days, talking about some of the greatest sports figures to ever play the game.

“I was a lucky kid of 18 years old to be with such great ball players of my time.”

In his later years, he took the time to answer letters from fans. I wrote to him a couple of years ago, and he sent a couple of photos, signed a couple of index cards and wrote me this nice letter (pictured below). He didn’t have a job that was going to make him filthy rich, but as he said himself, he was a lucky guy. He had witnessed things that only others could dream of.

 

The New York Times published an article about him back in 2007. I strongly recommend that you give it a look.  (more…)

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