In stark contrast to the reputation of Ted Williams as a bona fide war hero, The Smoking Gun today published U.S. Military documents that portray Joe DiMaggio (above, right) as “a deeply selfish soldier desperate for a wartime discharge”, despite the Yankee Clipper never seeing combat.
Major Emile Stoloff, chief of neuropsychiatry, and Major William G. Barrett detail DiMaggio™s frequent hospitalizations, brought about when the athlete would complain of abdominal pain. Though DiMaggio frequently contended that he suffered from an ulcer, Stoloff noted that œno evidence was found to support this œalleged history. Barrett referred to DiMaggio™s œnatural tendency to protect himself by adopting those diagnoses and opinions which would lead to release from his present unhappy situation.
Citing his purported peptic ulcer and œnervous condition, DiMaggio argued that these maladies warranted his immediate discharge. He was convinced, however, that military brass wanted to continue reaping the public relations benefits of having such a high profile athlete remain in the Army. With the country at war, DiMaggio, a staff sergeant, believed he had been œexploited by the Army and made œan exhibitionist, an apparent reference to the fact that DiMaggio played on Army baseball teams. As a result, he was œsomewhat bitter about this discrimination, Barrett reported.