Throwback Thursday: Joe DiMaggio Signs the Biggest Contract in Baseball History
On this day in sports history, the New York Yankees broke the bank to sign Joe DiMaggio.
DiMaggio broke into the MLB on May 3, 1936, with the distinct pleasure of batting ahead of another all-time Yankees great, Lou Gehrig. The Yankees would go on to win four consecutive World Series and would win nine World Series championships over the course of DiMaggio's career with the team. In his rookie season, DiMaggio would set the Yankees record by hitting 29 home runs, a record that stood for over 80 years until Aaron Judge blasted his way into MLB history in 2017.
DiMaggio is most well-known for his incredible 56-game hitting streak in 1941. During his streak, DiMaggio played in seven doubleheaders and helped the Yankees go 41-13-2 during that stretch. He also added another 16-game hitting streak the day after ending his record-breaking 56-game hitting streak.
After years of success, DiMaggio signed a contract with the Yankees worth $100,000 on Feb. 7, 1949. He became the first baseball player to earn a six-figure salary. It's interesting to see how just how far baseball has grown with DiMaggio becoming the first player to earn six-figures in 1949 to the reports of Bryce Harper and Manny Machado looking for $300-million contracts.