Which baseball player did the old man support?  

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Santiago's favorite baseball team is the New York Yankees, and his favorite baseball player is Joe DiMaggio. Santiago refers to his favorite player as "the great Joe DiMaggio" and often thinks about what Joe DiMaggio would do in difficult situations. Santiago believes that Joe DiMaggio would be able to understand him in a way that Manolin cannot, because of their similarities. Santiago relates to the fact that Joe DiMaggio's father was a fisherman and that he also succeeded in spite of physical ailments like bone spurs. When Santiago begins to suffer from severe cramps and exhaustion out at sea, he thinks about what Joe DiMaggio would do in his situation, which motivates him to continue struggling with the enormous marlin. Santiago also hopes that one day Manolin will become as great as Joe DiMaggio. Overall, Santiago admires the great Joe DiMaggio and uses his accomplishments to motivate him while reeling in the gigantic marlin.

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