The summer of 1941 was a perfect storm–between the Great Depression and America’s entry into WWII, people were feeling desperate and ready for a hero, for good energy, for a symbol of hope. That hero came in the form of a young Italian from a poor fisherman’s family, who became one of the most accomplished, admired and respected ballplayers of all time—and a true American icon.
Over the course of his legendary 56-game hitting streak, “Joltin’ Joe” DiMaggio unified the nation because he symbolized the potential for greatness we all yearn to see in ourselves. He represented the true American Dream, that anyone from anywhere can accomplish anything if they work hard and put their minds to it.
Capturing a Nation
In a time without the internet or instant Twitter updates, Americans came together in a remarkable way over the progress of Joe DiMaggio’s incredible feat.
As the great baseball historian Robert Creamer tells of how his friend Andy Creichton traveled across the U.S. with a group of friends during the summer of the Streak. Along the way, they stopped to get a bite to eat in a dusty diner filled with ranch hands and farm workers.
Andy watched as the ranch hands came in and asked the diner owner, one by one: “Did he get one?” They didn’t need to say the name “Joe DiMaggio.” Everyone was watching and waiting.
As filmmaker Ken Burns has said of this time:
We sort of all collectively held our breath. (“Did he get one? Did he get one? Did he get a hit?”) DiMaggio was the glue that kept us all stuck together that summer. He was “us.” It made Americans feel that anything was possible.
One Great Thing Inspires Another
We want to inspire you to achieve your own greatness. The Streak is the inspiration and catalyst for Joltin’ Joe, but time doesn’t stand still. We have to pursue our own dreams our way, today and every day. At Joltin’ Joe, our dream — our goal — is to innovate, create and dedicate ourselves to the spirit of doing our best in whatever we do and whatever we put our name on — and, in so doing, to inspire you to dream and create your own streak towards great things.
The ideals that created the Streak — perseverance, grace, hard work, integrity — are the same ideals we can tap into today to achieve whatever it is that means personal greatness to us — whether it’s getting in shape, getting that promotion, writing a book or starting our own business.
If you’re ready to pursue your own dreams, read more about how you can create your own “streak”.