Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Phil Rizzuto, R. I. P.

Another icon of my youth is gone.

Phil Rizzuto, Yankees Shortstop, Dies at 89 - New York Times: "Phil Rizzuto, the sure-handed Hall of Fame Yankees shortstop nicknamed The Scooter, who punctuated his extended Yankee life as a broadcaster with birthday wishes to nuns and exclamations of “Holy cow!” died today. He was 89. His death was confirmed by the Yankees. Rizzuto played for the Yankees from 1941 to 1956. His departure was abrupt. No longer willing to carry an aging, seldom-used infielder, the team cut him on Old-Timers’ Day. Soon after, he began calling Yankee games for WPIX-TV/Channel 11 and did not leave that role until 1996."


  1. "No longer willing to carry an aging, seldom-used infielder, the team cut him on Old-Timers’ Day."

    Typical class from the Yankees.

  2. Jeff Meyerson3:44 PM

    R.I.P. The Scooter.

  3. One of the few great things about moving to New York State in 1960 was being able to watch Yankee games on TV. I wasn't keen on Red Barber's laconic calls, but hearing Rizzuto, Jerry Coleman, and, later, Joe Garagiola broadcast the games had me in hog heaven. Alas, the days of Mantle, Ford, and Yogi are long gone, and I am not a Yankee fan anymore.

  4. My father was a big Yankees fan when I was a kid. I may have mentioned before that he stayed home from work to watch a World Series game on TV, and the pitcher was Don Larsen. My father always remembered that perfect game.

  5. Jeff Meyerson7:26 AM

    I rushed home from school and was in time to catch the last couple of innings of Larsen's perfect game in 1956. Of course, in those days the World Series was played in daytime.

    Cap'n: at least Yogi & Whitey are still with us. Apparently Yogi was driving over to the nursing home where Rizzuto was living and visiting with him three times a week for the last two years. He didn't make it public until after Phil died.

    That's a real friend.

  6. Says a lot about Yogi. I like him even better now.

  7. I never doubted that Yogi was a right guy, and this confirms it. Thanks for the story, Jeff.