DiMaggio Shows Improvement

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Joe DiMaggio should recover from a bout of pneumonia in time to celebrate his 84th birthday Nov. 25 and Thanksgiving with his family, according to Morris Engelberg, the baseball great's longtime friend and lawyer.

"It's going to be a very special day for Joe and all of us," Engelberg said.

DiMaggio is improving in a battle with pneumonia and a lung infection, one of his doctors said.

"Joe DiMaggio has shown significant improvement over the past week," Dr. Earl Barron said in a statement released Friday. "He requires less sedation. He has no fever, good blood pressure and heart function and appears on his way to recovery."

Friday was DiMaggio's 33rd day at Memorial Regional Hospital. He was admitted Oct. 12, a few days before he was to fly to New York to throw out the first ball in the World Series at Yankee Stadium.

DiMaggio improved to the point where he got out of bed and was able to walk around his room. But he had another setback requiring use of an oxygen device and sedatives to help him breathe.

Last weekend he began to improve again.

DiMaggio played in 11 All-Star Games and 10 World Series in 13 seasons with the Yankees. He was a two-time batting champion and a three-time most valuable player.

His 56-game hitting streak from 1941, one of baseball's greatest feats, is still a record. He was voted into the Hall of Fame in 1955, four years after his retirement.

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