He was born in San Francisco, California on October 4, 1910 and grew up in the same neighborhood as his teammate-to-be Joe DiMaggio. He played his first game on April 12, 1932 at age 21. His entire major league career, 17 years long from 1932 to 1948, was spent on the New York Yankees, mostly at shortstop but with some time at second and third base. He originally wore uniform number 5 but in 1937 was switched to number 1 and in 1945 to number 2. After playing nearly 1700 games, he went on to coach for the Yankees as well, serving 20 years in that role.
He died on February 11, 2002 in Stockton, California.