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Maury Allen, biographer, on
1936 Spring Training

Maury Allen

Joe's arrival in Spring training in 1936 was kind of an historic event. Joe had been a very high profile minor league player in San Francisco, and everybody was looking forward to seeing this kid with the reputation. He had hit in 61 consecutive games in San Francisco in the Pacific Coast League. He was a very big star when minor league baseball was very big. There were a lot of ballplayers who were happy just to stay in the Pacific Coast League -- who didn't want to come to the major league.

So, finally the Yankees buy Joe DiMaggio and he travels to spring training in St. Petersburg, Florida, with two teammates -- Frank Crossetti, Tony Lazeri -- and they get into the car they're driving across the country. And they're all three very quiet guys, and finally some way into the trip, Crossetti asked DiMaggio to drive and he said he didn't know how to drive, and that was about the last conversation the three of them had until they arrived in St. Petersburg, Florida, with a great deal of press, anticipating the arrival of the guy who was supposed to bring the Yankees back to a pennant.

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