The New York Yankees were hosting the Chicago White Sox on July 28, 1962. A Saturday afternoon crowd of 53,199 was on hand, but the game between the two rivals was not the primary attraction. It was Old Timers’ Day

The 1937 American League All-Stars faced the National League All-Stars in a two-inning game before the regularly scheduled contest. In 1937, the American Leaguers triumphed by a score of 8-3 at Griffith Stadium in Washington.

Joe DiMaggio retired after the 1951 season because he realized that he was no longer “Joe DiMaggio.” The second-greatest center fielder in history, right behind Ty Cobb, was appearing in his 11th old timers’ game, batting third.

In the first inning, with Earl Averill on first and one out, DiMaggio faced Van Lingle Mungo, who used to throw aspirin tablets for the Brooklyn Dodgers. DiMaggio worked the count to three balls and two strikes.

Mungo peered in to get the signal from his catcher, Ernie Lombardi, nodded assent, went into the wind-up and fired. DiMaggio connected.

The ball soared into deep center field, where the fence was 461 feet away.

To those fans who had seen DiMaggio play, the shot brought back many memories of drives that traveled over 450 ft. only to become outs.

Former New York Giants center fielder Jo-Jo Moore started racing back as almost all the fans rose to their feet. In a vain effort, Moore backpedaled and then fell to the ground as the ball landed beyond his reach and rolled to the wall.DiMaggio was at second base when Moore picked himself up and started after the ball. The crowd screamed for DiMaggio to keep going, which he did.  When Moore finally picked up the ball at the base of the wall, DiMaggio was about to touch third.

He was huffing and puffing as the crowd kept yelling for him to go for it. DiMaggio rounded third and headed for home.

Shortstop Dick Bartell caught the relay from the outfield, whirled and fired a strike to Lombardi that DiMaggio barely beat. The fans went berserk—especially the older ones.

In the dugout, a winded and grinning DiMaggio (yes, he did smile on occasion) told his teammates that he was retiring for a second time.

The day was filled with irony.

Dizzy Dean, whose career was cut short when Averill hit a line drive back to box that struck Dean in the foot, fracturing his toe, was injured in the old timers’ game.

Dean started the game and lasted one batter. Charlie Gehringer hit a sharp ground ball to the right of first baseman Johnny Mize. Dean went to cover first and tripped over the bag, ending his day.

In the regular game, the White Sox led the Yankees 3-0 when Mickey Mantle, the center fielder many modern fans rank ahead of DiMaggio, more than matched the Yankee Clipper’s feat.

Mantle broke up knuckle baller Eddie Fisher’s shutout bid with a seventh-inning home run into the upper deck of the right field stands.

It was a special day. Fans could say that they were at a game in which DiMaggio and Mantle each hit a home run.

It’s been asked thousands of times, but it will always be worth asking again: How many home runs did Yankee Stadium take away from Joe DiMaggio?

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