Aug 15, 2007

Rest In Peace Scooter

From the Times -

Phil Rizzuto, the sure-handed Hall of Fame Yankees shortstop nicknamed the Scooter who extended his Yankee life as a popular, even beloved, broadcaster, punctuating his game calls with birthday wishes to fans and exclamations of “Holy cow!” died Monday night. He was 89.

The cause was pneumonia, his daughter Patricia said yesterday. Rizzuto, who had been in declining health for several years, died at a residential facility in West Orange, N.J. He had lived in Hillside, N.J.

Monday was the 12th anniversary of the death of Rizzuto’s teammate, Mickey Mantle.

Rizzuto joined the Yankees in 1941 and played 13 seasons (he missed three while in the Navy during World War II) until 1956. His departure was abrupt. No longer willing to carry an aging, seldom-used infielder, the Yankees cut him on Old-Timers’ Day. Soon after, he began calling Yankee games for WPIX-TV Channel 11 and remained in that job until 1996.

Rizzuto played an integral role on the dynastic Yankees before and after World War II. He was a masterly bunter and defensive specialist for teams that steamrolled to 10 American League pennants and won 8 World Series championships, including 5 in a row from 1949 to 1953.

My favorite part -

In 1993, Tom Peyer and Hart Seely edited Phil Rizzuto’s actual broadcast commentary into verse for a book called “O Holy Cow! The Selected Verse of Phil Rizzuto.” Here is an excerpt.
What kind is it?
Holy cow!
What happened?
Base hit!
A little disconcerting,
Smelling that pizza,
And trying
To do a ballgame.

He will be missed.

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