Hospital Honors DiMaggio's Memory
By Steven Wine
AP Sports Writer
Wednesday, March 8, 2000; 6:10 p.m. EST
HOLLYWOOD, Fla. On the first anniversary of Joe DiMaggio's death, the children's hospital bearing his name paid tribute Wednesday by dedicating its redesigned lobby, which now has a baseball theme.
The lobby includes displays of memorabilia, an infield outlined in the carpet, a mural of Yankee Stadium and a sound system that replays radio broadcasts of DiMaggio's games.
"This has to be the most unique children's hospital lobby," said Dr. William Bruno, chief of staff at Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital. "The kids are going to have a ball here."
DiMaggio, who lived his final years in Hollywood, died a year ago at age 84.
The memorabilia includes autographed photos of the Yankee Clipper, jerseys, bats and more than two dozen baseball signed by celebrities ranging from Mickey Mantle and Mickey Rivers to Meat Loaf.
"Much of this is Hall of Fame material," said Frank Sacco, the hospital's chief executive officer. "It's great for us to have it."
DiMaggio became involved with the hospital in 1992, and his efforts raised more than $4 million. He also paid many visits to sick youngsters.
"He did his best work coming to the hospital, seeing the children without fanfare," Sacco said. "It really invigorated him in his later years, and it invigorated our staff. They were proud to be in his company."
The lobby renovations were financed by a charity golf tournament founded by Baltimore Orioles outfielder Jeff Conine, who lives in South Florida.
İ Copyright 2000 The Associated Press
Joe DiMaggio's first-inning single July 16 extended his hitting streak to 56 games. (AP)
Sounds like a nice tribute for the Yankee Clipper, and for a very worthy cause.
Good job by the Baltimore Orioles Jeff Conine, it's nice to hear something positive get reported about a player....for a change.