Dick Adams Managed Joe DiMaggio!

Posted November 17th, 2011 by Tom Owens and filed in Dick Adams, Joe DiMaggio, Philadelphia Athletics, www.BaseballInWartime.com

If World War II wasn’t incredible enough…

Dick Adams, known as a first sacker with the 1947 Philadelphia Athletics, managed his Army base team. One fellow soldier was none other than Joe DiMaggio.

Adams remembered:

“Yes, I managed Joe DiMaggio in the Army, then played against him in 1947. I was with the Phila A’s. He was with the Yankees.

He was a very quiet person. Didn’t stay on the Base any longer than he had to. Went to Hollywood a lot. He always had gas tickets and tires.”

[The government rationed both in World War II.]

“His baseball skills were VERY GOOD (like always).”

Speaking of Hollywood, Adams has lived a movie-like existence.

First, he lived the major league dream with brother Bobby Adams. Did they talk about playing pro baseball as kids?

“About my brother and me: we went to a tryout camp in Berkeley, Calif. during Easter vacation, 1939. We slept in the car at night, ’cause we never had any $ for hotel rooms, and then we got a $200 bonus for signing (each of us $200).

We thought we were rich. That’s when we talked about playing in the Major Leagues. He had a much longer career in the ‘show’ (14 years) and ended up with the Cubs.

Baseball today is not like it was in my time! Too much $ nowadays. No team play. All ‘me, me, me’ for $ and long-term contracts.”

Although he’s been gone from the diamond for decades, Adams never left the keyboard. A professional pianist beginning at age 13, he keeps sharing his musical gifts today.

“I just returned from playing a luncheon for old, bold pilots — all WWII pilots. Even several German pilots who have become citizens of USA. Quite a nice occasion. By the way, I had four gigs this past week. I still play piano. Big Band music. WWII stuff.”

To learn more of Adams in World War II (and his life after baseball) check out the always-fine “Baseball In Wartime.”

Coming Friday: Fan and collector Kohei Nirengi, championing America’s Pastime in Japan.

 

 

One Response to “Dick Adams Managed Joe DiMaggio!”

  1. Kyle says:

    I recently got a return from Mr. Adams as well. He mentioned that he still plays “gigs”, but he also noted that he also still teaches piano. He has two students……ages 81 and 76. Pretty cool Mr. Adams!

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