Bill Swank (l.) and Alan Lubke (r.), holding the book "Joe DiMaggio, The Hero's Life" by Richard Ben Cramer.
 Swank and Lubke are acknowledged on
page 523 as contributing historians.

The following is my note to Bill Swank regarding our contributions to the book "Joe DiMaggio, The Hero's Life" , particulary my meeting and bantering with the author, Richard Ben Cramer during his visit to San Francisco. I attended his book signing at Stacey's on Market Street on Halloween, October 31st, 2000.     - -   Alan Lubke

Dear Bill:

You asked if I got to meet Richard Ben Cramer at the book signing.

I went to the 12:30 p.m. book signing at Stacey's on Market Street in the Financial District. I got there while RBC was reading after which he opened up for questions. After several people told Joe Dimaggio stories and asked questions, I raised my hand.

"Are you ready for a tough question?" I asked. He said: "Go ahead, you're the one with the shirt". (He didn't know me of course.)

"Do you have any regrets writing something so apodictic as this?", I asked, and then read the following quote from his book as it was printed in an e-mail I was holding: "The fact was, DiMaggio was never wistful, and he never spent an instant of his life to marvel at the beauty of anything."

Unbelievably, he quoted the next sentence which I didn't have---"Except maybe a broad."

"That's not here", I said.

"I know it, I wrote it", said Richard Ben Cramer, and the audience gasped.

Richard then asked to see the quote and I gave him the e-mail, pointing to the sentence. He adeptly answered the question saying that there were no regrets about writing it. The substance of his answer was that everything Joe did was for Joe and Joe expected something in return. (For the referenced quote, see page xi of the Prologue to "Joe DiMaggio, The Hero's Life" by Richard Ben Cramer.)

I waited till last in the signing line and told him who I was, gave him my card, said I was one of his contributors and that the shirt I was wearing -- the size 2X authentic No. 10, San Francisco Seals baseball shirt -- was a gift from you. Immediately recognizing me now for my contributions to his work, he vocally heaped praise on me to the bookstore staff and his two publicity escorts, telling them how when he was in a pinch, I got him background info from San Francisco newspaper files and sent them to him by enclosures to e-mail followed up by express mail. Then turning to me, he said emotionally and in an elevated tone, regarding you, Bill Swank, how awful it was that in referencing your book, "Echoes from Lane Field", he had got the name wrong as in "Memories from Lane Field" and that it was the first thing to be changed in any revision!

I thanked Richard Ben Cramer for inviting me to the lunch (that I couldn't make) with DiMaggio's buddies and he signed my book. I had the publicity guy take our picture. I then gave Richard a cardboard tube with local press clippings including two copies of the Examiner Magazine which printed in full the part from his book about DiMaggio's 61- game hitting streak with the PCL, (part of your contribution), I also gave him Lisa Davis' e-mail to me which I had read from, and he had a "friendly" comment about her--saying she had wanted to review her contributions before he printed the book! He was interested to know that she had been e-mailing people like me who had reviewed "Joe DiMaggio, The Hero's Life" in Amazon.com.

RCB then signed the following in my book: "For Alan. You are an ace--and I always said that, even before you showed up in that handsome Seals shirt. Thank you. Richard B. Cramer, 10/31/00.

P.S. It was Halloween and I was one of many on the streets of San Francisco that day in costume if you will, so I blended right in. Not that I don't wear that wonderful shirt often and everywhere because it is the nicest, most thoughtful gift a pal could give a pal.

7 November 2000
www.ojlubke.com   HOMEPAGE

January 14, 2003


URL explained: Bill Swank and Alan Lubke are now immortalized as contributors to a book which has been placed Number 31 in "The Top 100 Sports Books of All Time".

NUMBER 31: "Joe DiMaggio: The Hero's Life" By Richard Ben Cramer (2000) "Cramer takes DiMaggio from his boyhood in San Francisco to the hospital room in Florida where, as he lies dying, a trusted adviser slips the 1936 World Series ring from his finger. Brilliant, stylish and a riveting study in the degrading effects of adulation."

Here, from page 523 to the top of page 524 of Richard Ben Cramer's book is that immortal immortalization:

"On the subject of the Seals and the PCL, I thank Steve Barath, Joe Buzas, Art Dikas, Tony Gomez, Eddie Joost, Bill Lillard, Larry "Lefty" Powell, Bill Raimondi, Gussie Suhr. Also, I am indebted to the historians Richard Beverage, Dick Dobbins, Alan Lubke; to Richard Leutzinger and his book, "Lefty O'Doul; "The Legend That Baseball Nearly Forgot"; to Bill Swank and his book, "Memories of Lane Field". I also found valuable information in "Runs, Hits and an Era" by Paul J. Zingg and Mark Madeiros."

NOTE: Bill Swank's book "Echoes from Lane Field" is misnamed. When I met with Richard Ben Cramer on October 31, 2000 in San Francisco, he told me, emotionally and in an elevated tone, regarding recognition of Bill's research and contributions, how awful it was that he had got the name of his book wrong and that it was the first thing to be changed in any revision of "Joe DiMaggio: The Hero's Life".

PICTURE: Media are encouraged to use this message and the photograph of Bill Swank and myself in baseball uniforms and found on my web site at this, the page you are on: http://www.ojlubke.com/pixseries/pixalanlubke/joedimaggioalanbillswank.html.

If you lose the URL, simply go to the SUPER INDEX and click on the name "DiMaggio".

Alan Lubke
January 14, 2003

Joe, resting at Colma. "Joseph Paul Dimaggio" "Grace, Dignity and Elegance Personified"

To find this page again, go to the SUPER INDEX and click on the name "DiMaggio".