Athletes have always tried to keep their personal lives out of the public spotlight and Joe DiMaggio was no exception. When writer Gay Talese set out to profile Joe DiMaggio for Esquire in 1966 he quickly found out that the only way to track down the baseball great was to show up in San Francisco at his restaurant. Although DiMaggio was furious at first, Talese managed to interview him and the result was one of the greatest pieces of sports writing, “The Silent Season of a Hero.” This story depicted DiMaggio, now 15 years removed from his baseball days, as a sad and lonely man on a quest for peace and also helped Talese become one of the pioneers of a new form of journalism. Before Talese, there had been a contract between the athletes and men who wrote about them: The athletes’ private lives would never enter the field of view.
In 1989 and 1998 NIAF honored Joe DiMaggio and Gay Talese (respectively) during its 14th and 23rd Anniversary Awards Gala in the nation's capital. Read more about these legendary Italian American’s and the way “The Silent Season of a Hero” changed sports writing. http://es.pn/spsUOH