Maury Allen, biographer, on leading the Yankees to victory
Joe DiMaggio broke in with a bang and then got better. That's the kind of environment that he was in almost from the time he came to the Yankees -- '36, '37, '38, '39. And what was most significant, he not only got better each year, but the key thing, which is always the key ingredient, is the Yankees won.
And so DiMaggio not only was leading them to victory in '36, '37, '38, '39, but he was showing these enormous skills in the World Series. He was performing wonderfully all season. He would lead the Yankees to a pennant. He would then show off in the World Series at which all the national press was attending -- not only the New York press.
So, his status and his significance as an American hero became much more significant with each passing year. And he's probably the only player maybe in the 20th century who came in with an enormous reputation and actually performed above his reputation.