Playground naming splits DiMaggio family
Wednesday 12 April 2000
Undaunted by the threat of litigation and an increasingly nasty fight with a Florida estate lawyer, the city of San Francisco has decided to go ahead with its plans to honour its native son, the late baseballing great Joe DiMaggio, by renaming a children's playground after him.
The North Beach Playground is where DiMaggio first learned to swing a baseball bat. The question, though, is whether the concrete triangle, which is in a rapidly gentrifying former working-class Italian neighbourhood, is grandiose enough for the great Clipper of the New York Yankees and one-time husband of Marilyn Monroe.
Morris Engelberg, DiMaggio's estate lawyer and the executor of his will, doesn't think so. He calls it insulting, disrepectful and reprehensible that the city could even consider such a paltry monument. He says his client's name should be attached to the San Francisco airport, or to the Bay Bridge, or nothing.
The city, in turn, thinks Mr Engelberg is unhelpful, pushy and way out of line.
Having taken legal advice about Mr Engelberg's claims to hold all rights to DiMaggio's name, it has decided to call his bluff and announced yesterday that the renaming of the playground would go ahead as planned.
"We're going to ignore Morris Engelberg and do what San Francisco thinks is appropriate to honor Joe DiMaggio," San Francisco's mayor Willie Brown said.
It helps that DiMaggio's surviving brother Dom supports the plan. "It may be mere concrete to Engelberg," Dom DiMaggio, who lives in Florida, said recently, "but having spent countless hours with Joe and my brother Vince at that North Beach playground, I know that Joe would love to have his name attached to it."
The DiMaggio family is split on the issue, with his two granddaughters apparently siding with Mr Engelberg.
"If Mr DiMaggio were alive today, you would never even attempt to proceed - he would have stopped you in his tracks," Mr Engelberg wrote in a letter last week. "Your current actions... are disrespectful of Joe DiMaggio and his grandchildren, and are totally reprehensible."
Mr Engelberg has previously threatened legal action if the renaming goes ahead.
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food
Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: Exeter - An excellent opportunity for a Solici...
£17000 - £20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Helpdesk Support Technician - 12 ...
£28000 - £32000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: Maintenance...
£30000 - £38000 per annum + pesion + holidays: The Jenrick Group: World Wide S...