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Saturday, March 22, 2014

Det. Sonny Grosso, Joe DiMaggio and an Ongoing Love Affair With the Yankees

The French Kiss Connection.

Grosso has been a fan of the pinstripes since he was a kid growing up in Harlem, cheering for the Yankee Clipper, Joe DiMaggio. In his upcoming memoir, Harlem to Hollywood: My Real to Reel Life, Grosso spins larger-than-life tales about his on-going love of the Yankees:

...Grosso, who became an award winning producer of TV series and movies after he retired from the NYPD, said that DiMaggio never disappointed him “on the field or as a human being.” In fact, Grosso had a once-in-a-lifetime, four-hour plus dinner conversation at Manducati’s restaurant in Queens with his hero. Set up by his pal, Dr. Rock Positano, as a special birthday gift, Grosso explains:

  DiMaggio and I had an unforgettable conversation. And, just so you know, there were three subjects you didn’t talk about with Joe: Marilyn, Frank Sinatra and JFK. If you did, he’d say he was going to the bathroom and then he wouldn’t come back! So we spoke about everything else and about my desire to produce his movie biography. When Joe left after dinner, I said to him, “Joe, I’ve waited my whole life for this. So how about a little hug and kiss?” He shrugged his shoulders as if to say, “Well, if you have to.” So joking I said, “On the lips?” He replied, “Hey, c’mon, take it easy!” We laughed, I hugged him and then Joe said, “Me and my lawyer are writing a book and I told him, If anybody films this book it’s going to be Sonny Grosso.” Joe left and I’m floating on air. I rushed back in and told my friends he’s writing a book and he wants me to produce his movie.

As a token of remembrance for that unforgettable evening, Grosso had the chair the legend had sat on engraved with his “#5” and with the names “Sonny Grosso and Joe DiMaggio.”

Grosso adds, “When I sent Joe a photo of the chair, he wrote back thanking me but then asked, ‘Hey, Sonny, who says you get top billing?’ Not long after, the Yankee Clipper took ill and passed away. But that famous chair still floats around Manducati’s today and the story behind it helps me keep Joe DiMaggio’s memory alive.”

Repoz Posted: March 22, 2014 at 10:01 AM | 12 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: history, yankees

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: March 22, 2014 at 12:00 PM (#4675332)
When Joe left after dinner, I said to him, “Joe, I’ve waited my whole life for this. So how about a little hug and kiss?” He shrugged his shoulders as if to say, “Well, if you have to.”

My former book shop manager is an Italian-American who incongruously grew up in the 40's in Port Chester as a Cardinals fan, but who also idolized Dimaggio and saw him at the Stadium a few times at the end of his career. He got to meet Dimaggio once at a card show in the 80's, and as soon as Joe D saw my manager's generous girth, his face lit up into a big smile, and he patted him on the stomach with a one word greeting: "Paisan." To Joe M (my manager), that story was worth more than a hundred autographed bats.
   2. Sunday silence Posted: March 22, 2014 at 12:26 PM (#4675345)
that would have been a great movie bio without referencing Maryiln Monroe.
   3. Rough Carrigan Posted: March 22, 2014 at 01:58 PM (#4675370)
Joe only hugged him because he could see it distracted Grosso so much that he didn't notice Joe was skipping out on the tab and the tip.
   4. valuearbitrageur Posted: March 22, 2014 at 05:19 PM (#4675445)
This is a really creepy story.
   5. tfbg9 Posted: March 22, 2014 at 07:59 PM (#4675496)
I guess Grosso is played by Roy Schieder in The French Connection...
   6. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: March 22, 2014 at 08:15 PM (#4675504)
This is a really creepy story.


Yankees fans are really creepy people.
   7. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: March 23, 2014 at 09:00 AM (#4675608)
They're not even people!
   8. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: March 23, 2014 at 09:19 AM (#4675612)
So what do you call this? I'm open to suggestions.
   9. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: March 23, 2014 at 09:22 AM (#4675613)
A future inmate?
   10. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: March 23, 2014 at 09:29 AM (#4675616)
Maybe a future director of Ted Cruz's 2036 sheriff's campaign in Rockwall County.
   11. Greg K Posted: March 23, 2014 at 10:52 AM (#4675631)
So what do you call this? I'm open to suggestions.

That never would happened in Hartford.
   12. Voros McCracken of Pinkus Posted: March 23, 2014 at 01:09 PM (#4675666)
To tell you how time flies, that kid, Feyenoord fan Mikey Wilson, is now 17 years old.

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