Published November 20, 2014
Baseball icon Joe DiMaggio may be one of America's most beloved athletes, but the Yankee Clipper was a deeply selfish soldier who exhibited a "defective attitude toward the service" during his time as an enlisted man with the U.S. Army, TheSmokingGun.com reports.
DiMaggio also sought a wartime discharge during his 30 months with the U.S. Army in the mid-1940s, according to U.S. Army records obtained via a Freedom of Information Act request by the website.
In separate reports written shortly before his discharge in September 1945, Maj. Emile Stoloff and Maj. William Barrett portrayed DiMaggio, then 30, as someone whose "personal problems appeared to be of more consequence to him than his obligations to adjust to the demands of the service."
DiMaggio had recently divorced his wife and had custody of the couple's young son at the time, the website reports.
Stoloff concluded that despite DiMaggio's "conscious attitude of hostility and resistance," he could "be of further use to the military service," including that he not be required to play baseball, sign autographs or conduct interviews.
DiMaggio, however, was discharged two months later and returned to the New York Yankees for the 1946 season. He was later voted in the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1955 and finished his career as a 3-time MVP and 13-time All-Star. The Yankees won nine world championships during his 13-year career.