Joe DiMaggio Baseball Cards

Joe DiMaggio (1914-1999) was one of the most famous baseball players of the twentieth century. He played 13 seasons as center fielder for the New York Yankees. His most famous achievement was 56 games in a row with a hit, a record that is considered nearly unbreakable.

His achievements are numerous. DiMaggio was a 13 time All Star, 3 time AL MVP, 2 time AL batting champion, 2 time AL RBI leader, 2 time AL HR leader, and he was a member of nine World Series victories.

Born in Martinez, California, DiMaggio was parented by Italian immigrants as the sixth of seven eventual children. His father was a fisherman, and DiMaggio would grow nauseous when cleaning the boat. So, he constantly tried to shirk the work, and his father would often call him “lazy” and “good for nothing.”

DiMaggio left school at 14 and began working any odd job that he could find. DiMaggio excelled at baseball, and he was signed to semi professional baseball at 17. He had a streak of 61 consecutive games where he hit safely. From there, DiMaggio was committed to baseball, remarking about the streak, “Getting a daily hit became more important to me than eating, drinking or sleeping.”

Although his career was almost over with a knee injury, DiMaggio persevered, recovered, and his contract was purchased by the New York Yankees. After winning the MVP award for the Pacific Coast League in 1935, DiMaggio was brought up to the Yankees in 1936.

He soon became a leader on the Yankees, and they immediately won the next four World Series. DiMaggio would be a major piece on nine World Series victories in total, which is one shy of Yogi Berra’s record of ten.

He rightfully earned a reputation as a great hitter and speedy fielder, earning the nickname “Yankee Clipper” for his outfield coverage.

Serving in World War II in 1943, 1944, and 1945, DiMaggio lessened his career numbers. If he had had those years, DiMaggio likely would have exceeded the milestones of 500 home runs and 2,000 runs batted in.

DiMaggio signed a $100,000 contract in 1949. It was composed of $70,000 in salary and $30,000 in bonuses. He was the first player to make six figures.

He was at the top of his game even though he was in his mid thirties. Then, after an off year in 1951, he announced his retirement.

DiMaggio remained famous and popular after leaving baseball. Despite his considerable athletic achievements, DiMaggio is frequently immortalized in modern popular culture for his on and off relationship with Marilyn Monroe in his retirement. Stories of his lifelong devotion are common.

Their relations with each other were a favorite of the press for a decade. After Monroe died, DiMaggio delivered half a dozen red roses to her grave three times a week for 20 years, and he refused to talk about her. On his deathbed, his final words were, “I’ll finally get to see Marilyn.”

DiMaggio was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1955 on the third ballot. Later, his number 5 was retired by the Yankees, and he was named to the Major League Baseball All-Century Team. He has some of the most sought after cards due to his skill, as well as his general fame.

1936 World Wide Gum (Canadian Goudey) Joe DiMaggio

This brand is well known as the Canadian counterpart to the American Goudey brand.

There are not many copies of this card surviving today, and most of them are in difficult condition. PSA has about 30 cards registered, and 23 of them are at a PSA 3 or lower.

There are not many instances of sales for us to go on. The most expensive sale found was $69,000 for a PSA 6. Since the card is scarce and condition sensitive, prices are a bit erratic. You would probably need a few thousand dollars to purchase a copy of this card even at the lowest grades.

1938 Goudey Joe DiMaggio

This set has 48 cards that measure 2 ½” x 3”. It has quite the design. Known as the Heads Up set, it features the player’s photographed head superimposed onto a cartoon body. The cards begin at #241 which carries on the numbering of the famous 1933 Goudey. Joe DiMaggio is a key to the set, and he is shown on #250 and #274.

Both versions of Joe DiMaggio have similar scarcity. PSA has about 275 of both cards registered. Prices are somewhat similar for the two cards as well. $50,000 or around there will get you a PSA 8. A PSA 1 will probably cost over $1500.

The most expensive sale was for a PSA 9 for card #274 for $288,000 in 2017.

1940 Play Ball Joe DiMaggio

The Play Ball sets are important to the hobby, and Joe DiMaggio’s presence on them is a major reason why. The set had 240 cards that measure 2 ½” x 3 ⅛”, and it was similar to its 1939 predecessor. Of the 1939, 1940, and 1941 Play Ball sets, 1939 is the least valuable, so it was left off.

Joe DiMaggio is at the #1 spot for this set. There are 413 cards registered by PSA, and few of them are in high grade.

While a Mint condition card sold for $34,348.78 in 2007, that same card is estimated to be worth close to six figures today. For the more average collector, $1,000 could get you a PSA 4.

1941 Play Ball Joe DiMaggio

This set has 72 cards that measure 2 ½” x 3 ⅛”. Notable for Joe DiMaggio is that his two brothers, Dom and Vince, join him on the set. There are nearly 700 Joe DiMaggio cards registered by PSA.

A Gem Mint copy of this card went for $750,000 in February of 2020. Yet, there is a good number of these cards around, and $1,000 can still nab you a PSA 2 or 3.

1948 Leaf Joe DiMaggio

Joe DiMaggio is at the #1 spot in this set, and he is a key alongside Babe Ruth, Bob Feller, Satchel Paige, Stan Musial, and many others on this jacked up set. There are 98 cards that measure 2 ⅜” x 2 ⅞”.

There are about 1000 cards registered by PSA, so there is a good number of these cards floating around, though most are in lower grade. This is a more affordable card for a decently important set. The most expensive card sale found was for $43,200 for a PSA 8.5 in 2017. If you only had a $1,000, you would have to sink to a PSA 2.


DiMaggio’s cards barely miss out on some great early Topps sets. DiMaggio’s playing days are in a gap where he misses out on some major pre War and post War sets.

Yet, there are some great options out there for the astute collector. Joe DiMaggio was incredibly famous during and after his playing days. Some of his best cards help us to recall his skill and prestige.