• Sale 1992

    Important Watches

    24 April 2008, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 130

    WITTNAUER. A FINE AND HISTORICALLY IMPORTANT STAINLESS STEEL WRISTWATCH WITH CENTER SECONDS

    SIGNED WITTNAUER, "ELECTRO-CHRON", YANKEES, CIRCA 1962

    Price Realised  

    WITTNAUER. A FINE AND HISTORICALLY IMPORTANT STAINLESS STEEL WRISTWATCH WITH CENTER SECONDS
    SIGNED WITTNAUER, "ELECTRO-CHRON", YANKEES, CIRCA 1962
    With electrically-driven movement, silvered matte dial with red Yankees logo, applied baton numerals, circular water-resistant-type case, the screw back engraved "OLD TIMER'S DAY, 7-28-62, JOE DIMAGGIO, case, dial and movement signed
    36mm diam.


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    3ccompanied by Wittnauer Electro-Chron triangular cardboard box.

    Joe DiMaggio remains one of the most important and prolific baseball players of the 20th century. His name lives on today as he is remembered as a cultural icon of America's favorite pastime. Born to Sicilian immigrants on November 25, 1914 in Martinez, California, DiMaggio was the eighth of nine children. The family moved to San Francisco when he was one, where his father was a fisherman. He had hoped that his son would follow in his footsteps like his ancestors before him but much to his chagrin young Joe had little interest in the fishing trade; the allure of the baseball diamond was much more appealing.

    DiMaggio's career began playing in a semi-pro baseball league with the San Francisco Seals from 1932 to 1935 where he earned a reputation as as a phenomenal hitter. Unfortunately his advancement to the professional world almost came to a grinding halt in 1934 when he tore the ligaments in his left knee and he was passed over by teams like the Chicago Cubs. However a determined scout on the New York Yankees believed in DiMaggio's potential and by the late fall he was signed to the team for $25,000. It proved to be a sound investment for when DiMaggio made his debut with the Yankees on May 3, 1936 he quickly established himself as one of the greatest player's that the game had ever seen, helping to propel the team to garner nine world series titles during his thirteen year career.

    Earning nicknames like Joltin' Joe and the Yankee Clipper, Joe DiMaggio was known for both his offensive and defensive prowess. Not only did he hit 361 homeruns during his career and a lifetime batting average of .579 he also had a record 56-game hitting streak that ran from May 15 to July 16, 1941. It was feats like these that enabled him to gain the reverence of his fans and teammates alike and achieve three MVP awards and selection to the All-Star team thirteen times running. When he finally retired on September 30, 1951 he had most certainly left and an indelible mark on the game.

    The present watch was presented to Joe DiMaggio on July 28, 1962 at Old Timers' Day. This long-standing Major League Baseball tradition, most commonly associated with the New York Yankees, was initially conceived in the late 1930s as a day to celebrate the lives and accomplishments of baseball greats, Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig. However the first official New York York Yankees Old Timers' Day was not held until 1946 and has continued each year since. Given the enduring greatness of his career, it is only fitting that Joe DiMaggio was recognized with this accolade.

    Pre-Lot Text

    PROPERTY FORMERLY BELONGING TO JOE DIMAGGIO