JOE DIMAGGIO
THE ITALIAN HERO


My father, Tom Meli told me a story that reveals the strong feelings the Italians had for Joe DiMaggio
during the 1930's and 1940's, especially because he spent so much time in town and at Costa's, where Tom Meli met him. No one bothered Joe Dimaggio there; he was like family and no one asked for autographs and they all knew not to ask about his wife, who was the famous Marilyn Monroe.

This is what he said, “Bob, I went into this coffee shop across the street from Goldberg's Slipper factory on Hudson Street around 1945 and there was this man named Remo Marchiano sitting at the counter and he was about 35 years old at the time. We all new him well, he was a slipper cutter in Goldberg's factory.
Me and my cousin Joseph Nativo who later became a Priest in Saint Lucey's Church in Newark were in the Passion play with Remo. Remo played and looked like the pictures of Jesus Christ he was in his 30s and we played the armed guards in the Passion play at the Fox Theatre when we were in H.S. I'll never forget we had to fake hitting him and Joe and I are right handed and he ducked those fake blows fine but the third guard was left handed and he hit him right on the jaw and knocked him off his stool and the crown went flying off, he got right up but boy did we have fun back then. Anyway Remo is sitting at the counter and a guy comes in the coffee shop in a suit and tie and sits down at the counter. He was probably an attorney working at the court house and he starts talking baseball. He says “the only thing bad about Joe Dimaggio is he is a dumb Guinea .” Remo who like all the Italians in the first ward look up to Joe D. starts fighting the guy. The other people in the dinner break it up and when they find out why it started just told the guy to leave.”

“The story about Remo reminds me about going to Saint Francis Church and just before Christmas every year the Priest would mention to thank the anonymous donor who would donate a substantial amount of money every year to Saint Francis Church. Everyone new it was Mr. Goldberg who owned the slipper factory but he asked the priest to never mention his name or his synagogue would want the money. We really had fun times back then even though we had no money.”

Written by:
Bob Meli
June 2007

Click here to View Actual Article in Asbury Park Press October 27, 1999

Click here to view The Italian Hero Actual Article

 

Photo taken from the book Major League Baseball MEMORABLE MOMENTS
Written by: Ken Leiker and Edited by Mark
Vancil

 

Costa's Store

Note: Costa's store caption by Bob Meli
June 2007

 

Yankees Century

Note: From the book, Yankees Century copyright 2002, page 194. Text by Glenn Stout
Caption written by Bob Meli
June 2007

 

Willie Mays and Leo Durocher

 

 

 

 

Willie Mays and Leo Durocher came to the first Hackensack Little League dinner in 1951
as told by Lee D'Arminio

 

Note: Photo from Academy of Achievement
Caption in red written by Bob Meli
June 2007

 

The Babe

Note: The picture is from the book The Sluggers copyright 1989
Caption written by Bob Meli.
June 2007

 

"Lee D'Arminio and John DeLia, who are both 86 years old, have both told me that Babe Ruth had played baseball at the Oritani Field Club Baseball field during the 1930's. They said he may have played before then also. The Oritani Field Club had a Baseball field with a grandstand where River Road is just below where the tennis courts are today. On a history channel documentary on the Black Sox scandal of 1919, it was mentioned that after Shoeless Joe Jackson was banned from baseball, he was seen playing in Hackensack. He would have also been playing on the Oritani Field Club Baseball field."


Interview with
Louis D'Arminio
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Quotes on Campaign
Joe DiMaggio and
other Baseball stories
Louis D'Arminio
Discharge papers
Letters from
Louis D'Arminio
Costa's Store
Goldberg Pictures
High School Photos
The Record Article
St. Francis Church
The County Seat Article
Wall Unit Display
Louis D'Arminio