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Joe DiMaggio retires as player

By
United Press International

NEW YORK -- Joe DiMaggio retired today after 13 seasons as one of the greatest stars in baseball.

DiMaggio said he hasn't decided about his future, but Yankee President Dan Topping said, "Joe will remain in some capacity with the Yankees."

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The Yankee slugger famed -- the world over as "the Yankee Clipper" -- announced his decision at a press conference to day.

DiMaggio had been fading the past two seasons at the age of 37 but before that he spent 13 seasons as a big league star and four before that as a star of the San Francisco club in the Pacific Coast League.

"I told you fellows last spring," DiMaggio said in announcing his decision. "I only wish I could have had a better year but even if I had hit .350 this would have been the last year for me."

"You all know I have had more than my share of physical injuries and setbacks during my career.

"In recent years these have been much too frequent to laugh off. When baseball is no longer fun, it is no longer a game and so I've played my last game of ball."

DiMaggio played in 10 World Series during his 13 seasons with the Yankees.

Makes Own Decision

"Since coming to New York I've made a lot of friends and picked up a lot of advisers, but I would like to make one point clear no one has influenced me in making this decision." he said.

"It has been my problem and my decision to make," said the fading star, who hit only .263 last season for his lowest batting mark as a major leaguer.

"I feel that I have reached the stage where I can no longer produce for my ball club, my manager, my teammates and my fans, the sort of baseball their loyalty to me deserves.

"I would like to say that I feel I have been unusually privileged to play all my major league baseball for the Yankees." Joe said. "But it has been an even greater privileges to be ablv to play baseball at all. It has added much to my life. What I will remember most in days to come will be the great loyalty of the fans. They have been very good to me."

The Yankee offices in mid-Manhattan were jammed with newspapermen and cameramen as DiMaggio announced his well-kept spcret.

He'll Stay With Yanks

"Joe told me the day after the World Series that he was going to quit," Topping said, "but we told him to rest up and see how he felt about it later. We tried to get him to change his mind but he wouldn't. We are sorry to see him go as a player but it is definite that he will remain with the Yankees in some capacity."

DiMaggio is being considered as a replacement for Dizzy Dean on the Yankee television broadcasts but Topping said no decision has been reached yet.

Vice President Del Webb, who seemed emotionally close to tears, said, "we did everything we possibly could to get him to stay but we couldn't force him to stay."

"The last battered finger glove with which DiMaggio closed out the 1951 World Series will go immediately as a prize exhibit to the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y.

"And the guy who wore it belongs up there, too," Yankee Manager Casey Stengel said.

DiMaggio first joined the Yanks in 1936, but spent three years in the Army. He had a lifetime average of .325 in his 13 years as a player and batted .271 in 10 World Series. He hit 36i homers, eight coming in World Series play.

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