Joe DiMaggio Almost Appeared on a “Seinfeld” Episode

File under: legendary cameos that never quite happened

Joe Dimaggio Bats In Front Of Camera
"Ball Meets Ball," a one-reel mellow-drama, starring Joe DiMaggio, produced by manager Joe McCarthy, (R), at the St. Petersburg "Studios" of the New York Yankees.
Bettmann Archive

One of the greatest baseball players of all time appearing on one of the greatest television comedies of all time? It almost happened. In Seinfeld‘s third season, Kramer told a long anecdote about seeing Joe DiMaggio while getting coffee and doughnuts. This segued into a long exploration of DiMaggio’s dunking style — and his unflappability when enjoying a doughnut dunked in coffee. “He dunks like he hits,” Kramer says.

According to a report at Page Six, viewers almost saw DiMaggio himself in the episode. Nicki Gostin writes that DiMaggio’s granddaughters were reportedly big fans of the series and encouraged him to make an appearance.

The information comes via Dr. Rock Positano, a friend of DiMaggio’s and the author of the book Dinner with Dimaggio: Memories of an American Hero. In the end, DiMaggio decided against appearing on the show. DiMaggio was famously private. As a result, Positano told Page Six, “He felt it would have opened him up to criticism and invaded his privacy anytime he walked into a coffee shop.”

Seinfeld did capture one part of the Yankees legend’s personality. DiMaggio was, in fact, fond of dunking pastries in coffee — though Positano revealed that DiMaggio’s favorite was “plain pound cake toasted on a grill on one side only.” Whether or not you’re a legend of baseball or comedy, that sounds like a delicious combination with a cup of coffee.

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