While I was reading The Inventor and the Tycoon by Edward Ball, I was also reading The DiMaggios: Three Brothers, Their Passion for Baseball, Their Pursuit of the American Dream by Tom Clavin. I mention this because both are to some extent San Francisco stories, especially in their early chapters, and both authors describe the city and its inhabitants, many of whom came from the East Coast or abroad. Though set half a century apart (with a little overlap), both stories feature people restarting their lives, trying through hard work to prosper.
Sicilian fisherman Giuseppe DiMaggio arrived in California in 1898 and then in 1902 brought his wife Rosalie and one child born in Sicily to Martinez, a town northeast of San Francisco. From there they started a large family and eventually moved into San Francisco, where to Giuseppe's initial horror, three of his sons became baseball players. Little did the father know that his sons' success at sports would bring the family a fortune and fame.
As the book jacket states, The DiMaggios is about the three sons Vince, Joe, and Dominic, their baseball careers, and their complicated relationships. It also includes a surprisingly full portrait of Red Sox outfielder Ted Williams, who like the brothers began his baseball career in the highly competitive Pacific Coast League. Williams becomes Joe's greatest baseball rival while becoming Dominic's close almost-brotherly friend. The fifth focus in the book is on young actress Marilyn Monroe and her short marriage to Joe.
Aimed primarily at sports readers, the book includes descriptions of important games, accounts of seasons, and statistics. That all fades away in the latter chapters as the brothers deal with their lives after baseball and the continuing dynamics of the DiMaggio family. Here the author has unpleasant myths to dispel about Joe, and he does satisfactorily. Still, many readers will form strong opinions about the conduct of the brothers and judge who was more loyal. The DiMaggios should be considered for book discussions that enjoy discussing complicated characters.
Clavin, Tom. The DiMaggios: Three Brothers, Their Passion for Baseball, Their Pursuit of the American Dream. Ecco, 2013. 320p. ISBN 9780062183774.