Joe to Docs: Shut Up!

06/02/1999 at 12:00 AM EDT

Just two days after awakening from a coma, Joe DiMaggio ordered his doctors to stop giving public updates on his health. "We allowed Joe to talk this morning, and he was very angry," Dr. Earl Barron said Sunday. "He said, 'No more press.'" Barron, who heads the six-person team treating the Hall of Famer at a Hollywood FL hospital, said he could no longer comment on DiMaggio's health. He refused to say whether his condition had been upgraded from critical to serious, as had been expected. In a nationally televised news conference Friday, Barron reported that the former New York Yankee outfielder, 84, was in a "very dire situation" as he slipped in and out of a coma in his recovery from lung cancer surgery and pneumonia. But on Saturday, DiMaggio was sitting up in bed visiting with friends and family and even said, "Hello."

  • DiMaggio has guarded his privacy since his retirement from baseball in 1951, and information about his condition has been tightly controlled since he checked into Memorial Regional Hospital on Oct. 12. He had surgery two days later to remove a cancerous tumor in his right lung. DiMaggio's family -- including his brother Dom, grandchildren Cathy and Paula, and longtime friend and lawyer Morris Engelberg -- have been at his bedside.
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