Tucked in one of DiMaggio's wallets, baseball memorabilia auctioneer David Hunt found this note written in 1954, when DiMaggio and Monroe were married for nine months:
"Dear Joe, I know I was wrong! I acted the way I did and said the things I did because I was hurt - not because I meant them - and it was stupid of me to be hurt because actually there wasn't enough reason - in fact no reason at all. Please accept my apology and don't, don't, don't, don't be angry with your baby - she loves you. Lovingly, your wife (for life), Mrs. J.P. DiMaggio."
What led Monroe to scribble the note on the back of a dry-cleaning receipt is unknown. But it obviously meant a lot to DiMaggio. Hunt said it had been folded and unfolded so many times it crumbled into four pieces when he pulled it from the wallet.
He expects the wallet and the letter to fetch $20,000 to $30,000 at an auction of DiMaggio memorabilia May 19 and 20 in New York City.
The wallet and letter are among hundreds of items DiMaggio's granddaughters offered for the auction. The most valuable is probably DiMaggio's home uniform from the 1951 World Series, the last he wore as a Yankee. Hunt expects it to sell for $200,000 to $250,000.
The items about DiMaggio's relationship with Monroe will sell for far less - but are more poignant. In a journal DiMaggio appears to have written in 1955, the Yankee Clipper jotted down some thoughts about his ex.
"Don't ever be critical . . . Forget ego & pride . . . Talk from the heart . . . No Jealousy."
The journal is expected to sell for $10,000 to $15,000.
A portion of the proceeds from the auction will benefit the Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital in Hollywood, Fla.