Beyond DiMaggio


Beyond DiMaggio

Italian Americans in Baseball

Lawrence Baldassaro
Foreword by Dom DiMaggio

520 pages
39 photographs


April 2013


$29.95 Add to Cart

March 2011


$49.95 Add to Cart
eBook (PDF)

March 2011


$29.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

Berra, Rizzuto, Lasorda, Torre, Conigliaro, Santo, Piazza. Casual baseball fans—in fact, even many nonfans—know these names, not as Italian Americans but as some of the most colorful figures in Major League Baseball. Ever since future Hall of Famer Tony Lazzeri became a key part of the Yankees’ Murderers’ Row lineup of 1926, Italian Americans have been among the most prominent and intriguing players in the game. The first comprehensive study of the topic, Beyond DiMaggio is also a social history of baseball, tracing the evolution of American perceptions toward those of Italian descent as it chronicles the baseball exploits that influenced those perceptions.

Lawrence Baldassaro tells the stories of Italian Americans’ contributions to the game, from Joe DiMaggio, who transcended his ethnic identity to become an American icon, to A. Bartlett Giamatti, who served as commissioner of baseball, to Mike Piazza, considered the greatest hitting catcher ever. Baldassaro conducted more than fifty interviews with players, coaches, managers, and executives—some with careers dating back to the thirties—in order to put all these figures and their stories into the historical context of baseball, Italian Americans, and, finally, the culture of American sports.

Author Bio

Lawrence Baldassaro is a professor emeritus of Italian at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee. He is the editor of Ted Williams: Reflections on a Splendid Life and The American Game: Baseball and Ethnicity. Dom DiMaggio, youngest brother of Joe and Vince DiMaggio, made his Major League debut on April 16, 1940, for the Boston Red Sox. He died in 2009 at the age of ninety-two.

Table of Contents

Foreword by Dom DiMaggio     



Introduction: At Home in America   

Part 1: The Pioneers

1. Ed Abbaticchio: Forgotten Pioneer     

2. The Boys from San Francisco     

3. Where Are the Italians?   

4. The Tony Lazzeri Era

Part 2: Arrival

5. The Turning Point: 1930-1935 

6. Viva Italia! 1936-1939 

7. The First MVPs: Lombardi, Camilli, and Cavarretta    

8. To War and Back     

Part 3: Postwar Boom

9. Postwar New York: The Golden Age

10. The DiMaggio Brothers: Realizing the American Dream    

11. Italian Yankees: Paesans in Pinstripes     

12. Interborough Warfare: Dodgers versus Giants

Part 4: Transitional Italians

13. The Last "Italians"

14. The 1970s and Beyond     

15. From Labor to Management 

16. Executive Suite    



Source Acknowledgments     



Lawrence Baldassaro was awarded the Leonardo da Vinci Award of Excellence by the Order Sons of Italy in America Grand Lodge of Illinois and Wisconsin, for his contributions to literature after publication of Beyond DiMaggio: Italian Americans in Baseball.

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