Jerry Coleman, New York Yankee Second Baseman1948-1955, on DiMaggio's commitment to baseball
Q: Was Joe easy going about baseball?
I think Joe DiMaggio approached the game of baseball as a severe business challenge. And let's take away the fact that it is a sport. DiMaggio's major problem to me was that he had to be perfect, and he couldn't be. And consequently, because of that, I think it ate him alive at times. If he didn't perform, if he didn't do the job, if he didn't think that he was better than everybody else and he did it better than everybody else, I don't think that worked for him. I really think he had to be perfect, and it's impossible.
If you're DiMaggio, you expect yourself to be outstanding every day and drive in the winning run and make the great plays. And, it's totally impossible to have that happen. Even some days you're not even involved where it means anything. But if you're the leader -- and his command, his presence, his stature on the field really, without saying a word, led the Yankees to championships year after year after year. Because they wanted to perform like DiMaggio. And because of that, you know, you do better. You really do. You push yourself harder.