Joe DiMaggio’s controversial lawyer nixes a DiMaggio bobblehead day at Yankee Stadium

Getty Images
21 Comments

The Yankees wanted to give away Joe DiMaggio bobbleheads in honor of the 75th anniversary of the Yankee Clipper’s 56-game hitting streak. They won’t be doing that, though, because the lawyer who long handled DiMaggio’s business affairs and continues to handle those of his estate is, apparently, a pain in the butt to work with.

People familiar with DiMaggio’s post-playing life know the name Morris Engelberg. He’s long been a controversial figure, having been accused of isolating DiMaggio from friends and family in life and of being extraordinarily difficult to deal with with respect to the business affairs of DiMaggio’s estate. Now the Daily News says that Engelberg’s demands have nixed the bobblehead deal too:

Engelberg said he only had two requests after the Yankees approached DiMaggio’s grandchildren about a day honoring Joltin’ Joe’s hitting streak: He wanted former Mayor Rudy Giuliani to throw out the first pitch and he wanted the Yankees to make a donation to the Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital in Hollywood, Fla.

“I asked for $50,000 for the hospital, $25,000 would have been fine,” Engelberg said.

Engelberg also referenced DiMaggio’s alleged love of George Steinbrenner and added “If George was still here, we’d have this event.” Which has long been a vehicle for b.s. artists to give presumed weight to their unfounded claims, but maybe here he’s right. Who knows! For what it’s worth, Engelberg denies that he was being difficult. The Yankees had no comment.

I have no idea whether Engelberg’s demands are unusual — I suspect the Rudy Giuliani part is unusual — but I also sorta doubt that those were all of his demands too, at least based on his track record.