What was Joe DiMaggio’s Net Worth?
Joe DiMaggio was an American professional baseball player who had a net worth of $50 million at the time of his death. Joe DiMaggio passed away on March 8, 1999 at 84 years old.
DiMaggio made his Major League Baseball debut for the New York Yankees in 1936 and played for the Yankees his entire career which lasted from 1936 to 1942 and then from 1946 to 1951. Over the course of his career, DiMaggio won nine World Series championships with the Yankees and was a 13 time MLB All-Star. He was a three time American League MVP, two time AL batting champion, two time AL home run leader, and two time AL RBI leader. DiMaggio set a MLB record for his 56 game hitting streak. He was named to the Major League Baseball All-Century Team and had his #5 retired by the New York Yankees. DiMaggio was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1955. The gap in his MLB career came due to his service in the United States Army Air Forces. He went by the nicknames “Joltin’ Joe,” “The Yankee Clipper,” and “Joe D.” He’s widely regarded as one of the best baseball players of all time.
Finances and Estate
After several failed marriages and bad business management, by 1983 the 68-year-old Hall-of-Famer was only worth around $200,000. That’s the same as around $450,000 today. Joe lived in a cheap Florida apartment and drove a modest Toyota that was given to him by a local dealership. He lived carefully on a $10,000 per year budget. Yet, at the time of his death, his estate was worth between $40 million and $80 million. What happened?
Joe was introduced to wealth manager/lawyer Morris Engelberg late in life through some friends in Palm Beach. Morris immediately went to work jump-starting Joe’s finances. He increased Joe’s daily autograph signing rate to $50,000 and then $75,000. He worked out a single deal in which a company called Score Brand paid Joe $9 million over two years to sign 1,000 photographs and 1,000 balls per month. He arranged new endorsement deals and demanded raises on existing deals like Joe’s longstanding affiliation with Mr. Coffee. Best of all, Morris never took a fee for his work. He instead was proud to help the former slugger… and to brag to his other clients that he worked with THE Joe DiMaggio.
During his 13 season career, Joe DiMaggio earned a total of $632,250 playing professional baseball. After adjusting for inflation, that’s the same as around $8 million today. His highest salary per year was $100,000, which he earned in both 1949 and 1950. That’s the same as earning around $1 million per year today.
Giuseppe Paolo DiMaggio was born on November 25, 1914 in Martinez, California. He was born to Italian Sicilian Immigrants Giuseppe and Rosalia DiMaggio. He was the eighth of nine total children and named Giuseppe in hopes he’d be their last child. Willing to do anything to get out of cleaning his father’s boat, Joe took up baseball at the neighborhood sandlots at the age of 10. He finished schooling at Hancock Elementary and Francisco Jr. High but did not complete his education at Galileo High School. Joe instead worked odd jobs at a warehouse and orange juice plant and selling newspapers.
Semi-Pros & Yankee Contract
It was in 1931 that DiMaggio started playing semi-pro baseball. His older brother Vince, who played for the San Francisco Seals of the Pacific Coast League, got his manager to let Joe fill in at shortstop. Joe made his professional debut on October 1, 1932, and played the last three games of the season. In his first full year, he hit safely in 61 consecutive games for a PCL record and second-longest streak in Minor League Baseball history, and this is when hitting became his big motivator. But in 1934, Joe suffered a potentially career-ending knee injury tearing ligaments while stepping out of a taxi. Scout Bill Essick of the New York Yankees was convinced the injury would heal and talked the club into taking a closer look. Joe DiMaggio passed the physical examination, and the Yankees purchased his contract for $50,000 and five players. He remained with the Seals for the 1935 season batting .398 with 154 runs-batted-in and 34 home runs. The Seals won the PCL title, and Joe was named Most Valuable Player.
MLB & the Army
Joe DiMaggio made his big league debut on May 3, 1936 and batted just ahead of Lou Gehrig in the lineup. The Yankees hadn’t won a World Series since 1932 but would win the next four. The gap in his MLB career came due to his service in the United States Army Air Forces when he chose to trade his Yankees contract for a payment of $50 a month to enlist. But he came back strong, and overall Joe ended his professional career batting .325 with 2,214 hits, while smashing 361 home runs and batting in 1,537 runs.
An All-Time Great
Over the course of his career, DiMaggio led the Yankees to a total of nine World Series championships, just one shy of Yogi Berra’s 10. He was a 13-time MLB All-Star. He was a three-time American League MVP, two-time AL batting champion, two-time AL home run leader, and two-time AL RBI leader. DiMaggio set a MLB record for his 56 game hitting streak. He was named to the Major League Baseball All-Century Team and had his #5 retired by the New York Yankees. DiMaggio was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1955.
DiMaggio was married to Marilyn Monroe from 1954 to 1955. Joe DiMaggio passed away on March 8, 1999, at 84 years old.