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Thursday, December 7

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White Sox Mon Jun 18 2012

Marilyn Monroe's Photo Shoot with the White Sox

Rules for My Unborn Son, a tumblr blog turned book, ran a caption contest last week featuring a photo of Marilyn Monroe getting batting lessons from a couple of White Sox players. Wait, what?

marilyn monroe white sox batting
Marilyn Monroe "practicing batting" with Joe Dobson (standing) and Gus Zernial (catching).

Monroe's connection to baseball is well known -- she was married to hall of famer Joe DiMaggio for less than a year in 1954. What's somewhat less known is that a photo spread shot at White Sox training camp in Pasadena, CA in March of 1951 is how she caught Joltin' Joe's eye. The photos show Monroe with Gus Zernial, Joe Dobson and Hank Majeski in a couple different poses -- including the one above in which pitcher Dobson stands behind Monroe as she pretends to bat, with Zernial playing catcher. The photos stuck with DiMaggio, who waited until after he retired to contact the press agent who organized the shoot, David March, to arrange a date. The rest, as they say, is history.

marilyn monroe white sox
Marilyn Monroe posing with (l-r) Joe Dobson, Hank Majeski and Guz Zernial
at White Sox spring training camp.

marilyn monroe joe dobson white sox
Marilyn Monroe and Joe Dobson walking through White Sox spring training camp.

marilyn monroe hank majeski white sox
Hank Majeski and Marilyn Monroe walking through White Sox spring training camp.

marilyn monroe white sox bats
Marilyn Monroe holding baseball bats.

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Mike Bresina / May 30, 2015 9:44 PM

A spring training issue of The Sporting News in the mid-to-late 70s (1976 would have been 25 years) showed a picture of Majeski with Marilyn, but I thought it showed them jogging toward the camera. Is there such a picture, or does my memory fail me?

Andrew Huff / June 1, 2015 10:42 PM

Mike, it's possible the photo exists, but I haven't seen it.

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