Julian Valentine Wera
born Julian Valentine Werra
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 5' 8", Weight 164 lb.
- Debut April 14, 1927
- Final Game October 6, 1929
- Born February 9, 1902 in Winona, MN USA
- Died December 12, 1975 in Rochester, MN USA
In 1932, Julie Wera was a thirty-year-old third baseman for the San Francisco Seals, playing next to a nervous seventeen-year-old at short. After the youngster lobbed a throw to first, Wera yelled for him to throw harder. The shortstop's next throw landed in the grandstand. The youngster's name? Joe DiMaggio.
In 1948, an impostor purporting to be Wera worked in the front office of the Oroville Red Sox and committed suicide that September over marital difficulties. The local newspaper in Oroville, CA reported that the former New York Yankees player had died, but he was in fact living in Rochester, MN where he ran the meat section of a grocery store, unaware that someone had usurped his identity back on the west coast. The dead man was in fact one William J. Vera, who had assumed his better known namesake's identity; his wife had been completely unaware that he was not in fact the former ballplayer.
Source: The Big Show: Charles M. Conlon's Golden Age Baseball Photographs by McCabe & McCabe.