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Posted: 8/14/2007 10:11:43 AM EDT
For those of us who remember him....


N.Y. Yankees Hall of Famer Phil Rizzuto dies at 89
http://www.usatoday.com/sports/baseball/2007-08-14-rizzuto-obit_N.htm

 
Phil Rizzuto, shown here in 2004, was a fixture at Old Timers' Day ceremonies at Yankee Stadium.  

By Hal Bodley, USA TODAY
The thing about Phil Rizzuto was he made people smile. No, that's wrong. He made people laugh — at his jokes, but mostly at him.
Take his induction into baseball's Hall of Fame in 1994. The "Scooter," as he was known, walked to the podium and the thousands in the Cooperstown, N. Y., audience had to bring out their hankies to wipe away the tears. Not because they were sad. Rizzuto made them laugh that hard.

Rizzuto, who would have been 90 in September, died Tuesday after living his last several years in declining health at a West Orange, N.J., nursing home.


AUDIO APPRECIATION: The 'Scooter' was beloved by many

This is a sad time for everyone who knew Rizzuto, the diminutive kid from Brooklyn who made it as a slick fielding shortstop for the Yankees and later became their beloved broadcaster.

Yes, it's sad but if Rizzuto were talking about his passing, chances are he would add some levity to it. And be the butt of a joke.

Like he did on the Sunday afternoon in July of '94 when he, along with the late Leo Durocher and pitcher Steve Carlton, entered the shrine.

An hour after the ceremony, Rizzuto said: "I had this dream that I'd go up there to make my acceptance speech, say 'Holy Cow!' and faint."

The Scooter, who punctuated every remark with his trademark "Holy Cow!" didn't faint.

In one of the most entertaining Cooperstown speeches in memory, Rizzuto admitted he'd come a long way since he first signed with the Yankees in 1937 and his father pinned a $20 bill to his undershirt, saying, "don't talk to strangers. You got to watch out for those guys on the trains."

Added Rizzuto: "I'd never been away from home before. The Yankees gave me a nice seat — no sleeper. Sat all the way to Bassett, Va. But it was a beautiful trip because we went through Washington, D. C., and stopped in Richmond. That was my first taste of southern fried chicken. It was delicious, but they gave me — what's that stuff that looks like oatmeal? Grits!

"Yeah, grits. I didn't know what to do with 'em, so I put 'em in my pocket."

The Yankees won 10 pennants and eight World Series during his 13 seasons. Rizzuto, 1950 American League MVP when he batted .324 with 200 hits and a .439 slugging percentage, was an outstanding defensive shortstop, superb bunter and could fly on the bases. He ended his career with a .273 batting average and was an All-Star five times.

The Yankees retired his No. 10 on Aug. 4, 1985, and unveiled a plaque honoring him at Yankee Stadium's Memorial Park.

The plaque reads, in part: "A man's size is measured by his heart."

When he was trying to convince people he could play professional baseball, people snickered and poked fun at him because of his 5-foot-5, 150-pound frame.

Rizzuto was still in Richmond Hill High School in 1935 when he said in a New York Times interview he was driven to Ebbets Field in "Uncle Mike's car — one of those old cars, with the balloon tires" — for a tryout with his beloved Brooklyn Dodgers.

Rizzuto said he was excited to step onto the famed field. He was to get five pitches from another tryout on the mound. The first pitch hit him squarely in the back.

"I guess I tightened up after that," he said. "I couldn't hit any of the next four pitches out of the infield."

Casey Stengel, Dodgers' manager then, walked up to Rizzuto and said, "Look, kid, this game's not for you. You're too small. The only way you can make a living is by getting a shoe-shine box."

Five years later Rizzuto was a Yankee — he impressed them at another tryout — and in 1949 Stengel was their manager.

"I never let Casey forget the tryout," said Rizzuto, who added he never got along with Casey. I never got mad, never held a grudge, but that stayed with me, made me work harder."

Rizzuto added: "By 1949 I didn't need a shoebox. The kid in the clubhouse shined my shoes."

Rizzuto, who broke in with the Yankees in 1941, missed three years — 1943-45 — when he served with the Navy during World War II.

---


Link Posted: 8/14/2007 10:12:43 AM EDT
[#1]
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

You'll be missed Mr Rizzuto.
Link Posted: 8/14/2007 10:13:14 AM EDT
[#2]
That the Money Store guy?
Link Posted: 8/14/2007 10:13:58 AM EDT
[#3]

Quoted:
That the Money Store guy?

yup. The scooter.
His also did the play by play in the Meatloaf song Paradise By the Dashboard Light
Link Posted: 8/14/2007 10:15:41 AM EDT
[#4]

Quoted:
That the Money Store guy?


Also the radio announcer on Meat Loaf's "Paradise by the Dashboard Light". Phil apparently had no idea about the song's double entendre....
Link Posted: 8/14/2007 10:22:19 AM EDT
[#5]
All that and a Sailor to boot!
Link Posted: 8/14/2007 10:34:15 AM EDT
[#6]

Quoted:
All that and a Sailor to boot!


He played baseball on the US Navy's team from 1943-45.
Link Posted: 8/14/2007 11:12:03 AM EDT
[#7]


Great SS from the Yankee's heyday, and the best color commentator ever.
Link Posted: 8/14/2007 12:18:49 PM EDT
[#8]


A GREAT representitive of the game.............
Link Posted: 8/14/2007 12:25:17 PM EDT
[#9]

Quoted:


Great SS from the Yankee's heyday, and the best color commentator ever.


Man, another part of my youth gone.  I remember watching Yankees' baseball on WPIX.  One night the game was on 11, the other night it was on MSG.  All of that gone when the Yankees got their own channel.
Link Posted: 8/14/2007 12:28:37 PM EDT
[#10]
RIP Phil.

You will be missed.
Link Posted: 8/14/2007 12:30:58 PM EDT
[#11]
I grew up listening to him call Yankees games.
....before I defected from the "evil empire"!    






Link Posted: 8/14/2007 1:07:36 PM EDT
[#12]

Quoted:
All of that gone when the Yankees got their own channel.


After my time.

WPIX.  Haven't thought about Channel 11 in a looooong time.

Link Posted: 8/14/2007 6:52:29 PM EDT
[#13]

Quoted:

Quoted:

Quoted:
All of that gone when the Yankees got their own channel.


After my time.

WPIX.  Haven't thought about Channel 11 in a looooong time.


Eleven........11Alive. That enough of a throw back for you
The broadcast team was also Bill White and Frank Messer. i met the three of them once at the stadium


I don't know how long they Yankees were on WPIX for.  I started watching them in 1990 when I moved to NY from SC.  I think they stayed there till YES was put on the air.
And in 1990, I was 10.
Link Posted: 8/15/2007 3:20:02 AM EDT
[#14]

Quoted:

Quoted:

Quoted:
All of that gone when the Yankees got their own channel.


After my time.

WPIX.  Haven't thought about Channel 11 in a looooong time.


Eleven........11Alive. That enough of a throw back for you
The broadcast team was also Bill White and Frank Messer. i met the three of them once at the stadium


That might be before my time, or I was too young to recognize the slogan.

<==Went as Bucky Dent for Holloween in 1st grade.

The other kids couldn't figure out why I didn't want to be Mr. October.

Damn haven't heard Frank Messer's name in a while either.


Quoted:
I don't know how long they Yankees were on WPIX for.  I started watching them in 1990 when I moved to NY from SC.  I think they stayed there till YES was put on the air.
And in 1990, I was 10.


That was about when I went off to college, and stopped following sports alltogether.
Link Posted: 8/15/2007 7:03:19 AM EDT
[#15]
Holy cow.

I had the pleasure of meeting him several times as a kid. You couldn't ask for a nicer guy.

The team of him and Bill White were the best commentators ever.

RIP, Scooter.
Link Posted: 8/15/2007 7:07:57 AM EDT
[#16]
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