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DiMaggio was an arrogant jerk; Whitey Ford doctored the ball, says wife-swapper

Sep 18, 2009, 9:20 AM EDT

Despite winning 133 games, former Yankee pitcher Fritz Peterson will always be remembered as the guy who swapped wives with his teammate Mike Kekich. He has come out with a new book now, and it may prove memorable as well.  While it doesn’t sound like a scandalous tell-all, he does describe Joe DiMaggio as “arrogant and stubborn” and talks about how Whitey Ford doctored the ball.  I find that shocking because everything I’ve read in the past five years has led me to believe that Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens were the only jerks and cheaters in the history of baseball. Huh. Learn something new every day, I guess.

Beyond that, this kind of book sounds like fun simply because it Peterson’s tenure with the Yankees: 1966-1976 almost perfectly covers the inter-championship Yankees wilderness years that sometimes seem to have been written out of history.

  1. Steve Mac - Sep 18, 2009 at 10:36 AM

    Lets see … a guy who played from 1966 to 1976 is qualified to talk about a Yankee who retired in 1951 and he didn’t know and a Yankee who ended his career a year after Fritz arrived? Please, all Fritz is trying to do with that stuff is sensationalize his book to increase sales. Dimaggio is dead and can’t defend himself and Whitey was never accused by anyone of doctoring. It’s sad and pathetic the lengths former athletes will go to make a buck.

  2. Jacob - Sep 18, 2009 at 11:18 AM

    @Steve Mac, I’m pretty sure everyone knows Whitey Ford doctored the ball. In fact, he admitted it in his autobiography, Slick (http://www.nytimes.com/1987/07/21/sports/scouting-ford-defends-doctoring.html).

  3. Don in Dallas - Sep 18, 2009 at 1:27 PM

    Whitey was my hero growing up.Remember stories of Elston Howard having a sharp edge on his shin guard to scuff the ball for Whitey? Also, Dimaggio is well known as having been a jerk – just read his recent bios. Fritz Peterson is just a tired source for info during this Yankee era – Sparky Lyle and Jim Bouton covered this territory decades ago.

  4. Church of the Perpetually Outraged - Sep 18, 2009 at 1:39 PM

    I find that shocking because everything I’ve read in the past five years has led me to believe that Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens were the only jerks and cheaters in the history of baseball. Huh. Learn something new every day, I guess.
    Haha, +1 Craig

  5. GS - Sep 18, 2009 at 1:42 PM

    Hall of Famer Whitey Ford now on the field pleading with the crowd for… for some kind of sanity.
    Uh-oh, and a barrage of pretzels now knocking Whitey unconscious.
    Wow. This is uh… This is a black day for baseball.

  6. Tony A - Sep 18, 2009 at 2:26 PM

    Much of the info that has come out in the past decade would lead a reasonable person to believe that Joe D was perhaps the biggest jerk in Jankees history, including ownership…Whitey was well known for doctoring the ball long before the tell-all books started coming out…BUT, between the 2 of them, they help bring a lot of success the Jankees way during their tenure, and that’s why they belong in the HOF…

  7. Evan - Sep 18, 2009 at 2:29 PM

    Craig,
    Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens are among the most reviled athletes of this era of baseball. Trying to equate their behavior and attitudes with Ford and Dimaggio is both inapplicable and insulting.
    The Ford accusation can never be proven while with Bonds and Clemens there is a laundry list of evidence. Meanwhile, even if Dimaggio was a closet jerk, that doesn’t even come close to Bonds’ outspoken disdain for just about everyone.
    Meanwhile, this all comes from a wife-swapping former Yankee who played 15 years after Dimaggio retired.

  8. Omega - Sep 18, 2009 at 4:41 PM

    DiMaggio was not an arrogant jerk, he was the best at what he did and he knew it. He was supremely confidant in his own ability. He was proud of who he was and what he had achieved in his professional career.
    Maybe he just treated wife swapping loud mouths poorly and this guy has no other frame of reference with Joe…

  9. Omega - Sep 18, 2009 at 6:07 PM

    that being said, I am not CONFIDENT in my ability to spell at times…

  10. Michael Jordan - Sep 18, 2009 at 6:56 PM

    Joe Dimaggio was NOT an arrogant jerk.

  11. smsetnor - Sep 18, 2009 at 7:00 PM

    I remember when Jeter used to tell DiMaggio to lighten up and be more humble.

  12. JimC - Sep 18, 2009 at 7:57 PM

    SteveMac
    I was a Yankee fan growing up and DiMag could do no wrong in my eyes but I’ve read several books that say the same thing. He grew up during the depression and it made him one of the stingiest guys I’ve ever heard of- every golf tournament he agreed to play in
    had to send him new clubs and a dozen shirts. When he died he had a basement full of unused gold clubs and hundreds- maybe thousands of unopened shirts. He didn’t want to sign autographs unless he got paid. He wasn’t much of a father to his son either. He married Marilyn but couldn’t keep her- he was egotistical and she was nuts (borderline personality disorder).

  13. JimC - Sep 18, 2009 at 8:00 PM

    smsetnor
    Jeter dsidn’t even know DiMaggio.

  14. harrykiwi - Sep 18, 2009 at 11:01 PM

    Yeah I guess I would be a little bitter too if Joe D didn’t wife swap Marilyn Monroe with me.

  15. hop - Sep 19, 2009 at 12:20 AM

    Yet another stupid azz article by craig, who is this loser anyway that writes this garbage here? I hope someone aint paying him for this crap.

  16. fish oil omega3 - Jan 16, 2010 at 8:26 AM

    I found a web site is Thailand that sells those fish oil pills that take care of the fatty acids. I am not sure that they are healthy to eat but I am tempted by the cost. Any suggestion how to have better control over the food safety of my diet supplements?

  17. linux virus protection - Jan 20, 2010 at 10:55 AM

    I never thought I would have to understand this thank goodness for google

  18. Dottie Gogocha - Feb 9, 2010 at 7:38 AM

    No one will ever be better than Jordan. Neither Kobe or Lebron are close.

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