It started on May 15, 1941, with a single against Eddie Smith of the White Sox at Yankee Stadium. Seventy-five years later, Joe DiMaggio's 56-game hitting streak remains baseball's most iconic record. The Yankee Clipper's Summer of 56 captivated a nation still recovering from the Great Depression.   As the streak mounted, following DiMaggio...

by Phil Angelo   From 1932 to 1953, every New York Yankee team that won the World Series had at least two Italian-Americans in the lineup. Joe DiMaggio is best known, but there was also Yogi (Lawrence) Berra, Phil (Fiero) Rizzuto, Vic Raschi, Frankie Crosetti and Tony Lazzeri.   Lazzeri was the first Italian-American baseball sta...

In March 1949, Joe DiMaggio posed in Yankee Stadium, smiling, with another famous Italian-American of his era — each in his professional uniform — but their friendship would not endure.   On the evening of Nov. 5, 1954, the Yankee Clipper and Frank Sinatra hastily got up from dinner with friends at the Villa Capri in Hollywood and drove to a...

By Richard Peterson   My wife, Anita, and I live in southern Illinois, about 10 miles from Herrin, a community with a rich Italian-American heritage. Its historical society recently asked me to give a talk on Italian-Americans in baseball history.   Once I began my research, I was surprised by the number of notable Italian-Americans w...

Joe DiMaggio. Yogi Berra. Phil Rizzuto. Names instantly recognized for being extraordinary baseball players, but not only, also Italian-American. Famous Italian-Americans who were all each inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.   Back in the late 1910s and early 1920s, children born first generation American to Italian immigrants learned t...

Everyone knows that the first regional group among the Italian community in the US is the one from Sicily. The period of mass emigration, the one starting in 1880 and ending more or less in the early 20's of the XXth century, didn't see at the beginning Sicily as the main region of departure. Some Sicilians had previously gone to New Orleans (at th...

By Niccoló Graffio   Since I began writing for this blog, my articles have dealt mainly with famous indigenous inhabitants of Southern Italy/Sicily. It behooves me to mention, though, since the destruction of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies in 1861, the majority of the members of our ethnos were born outside the borders of the modern state...

by Robert A. Slayton   In this baseball season it is appropriate to celebrate Joe DiMaggio, who would have been one-hundred-and-one this year. One of the greatest baseball figures of his era, he played with grace yet power, creating records still unmatched by newer, better trained performers. But Joe DiMaggio gave this country something more...