Tuesday, August 14, 2007


This will not be fitness or diet related at all.

Just heard the news that "The Scooter" Phil Rizzuto has left us. I know to most of you, you probabaly have no idea who or what the scooter is. To a 38 (almost 39) year old guy that grew up in the shadow's of New York City and a NY Yankee fan he was and to me still is the Voice of the Yankees. I grew up watching every Yankee game and Phil was the voice I heard.

As George Steinbrener said today "I guess heaven must have needed a shortstop,". Phil was 89 years old and lived a great life but it is always sad to see a ex Yankee great pass.

The Scooter was the type of announcer that if he was announcing for your team you loved him but if you didn't like the Yankees you hated him. A true homer he was. Spent 7 decades involved with the Yankee organization.

Below was taken from Wikipedia....

Miscellaneous facts

Yogi Berra on hearing teammate Joe DiMaggio was to marry Marilyn Monroe: "I don't know if it's good for baseball, but it sure beats the hell out of rooming with Phil Rizzuto."

Rizzuto was the first ever mystery guest on the classic panel show What's My Line in 1950.

Rizzuto led all Yankees and Cardinals hitters with 8 hits and a .381 average in the 1942 World Series.

Rizzuto played alongside Bobby Brown and announced alongside Bill White; Brown and White would later serve concurrently as presidents of the American and National Leagues, respectively, between 1989 and 1994.

As an announcer, Rizzuto devised the unique scoring notation "WW" for his scorecard; it stands for "Wasn't Watching."

Was the MVP of the 1951 World Series, in spite of the play where pugnacious Giants second baseman Eddie Stanky sparked a rally by kicking the ball out of Rizzuto's glove on a tag play.

Rizzuto batted .320 with 8 hits in the series.

Rizzuto's name is mentioned in the 1995 Adam Sandler movie Billy Madison, when Sandler's character is attempting to write "Rizzuto" on a chalkboard in cursive, and is unable to properly write the lower-case z's.

The Seinfeld episode "The Pothole" features a Phil Rizzuto key chain that says "Holy Cow!" whenever you squeeze his head. George promptly loses it when it is buried under asphalt in a pothole. Kramer, upon seeing it (unburied), proclaims it a "talking Nixon."

Rizzuto decided to auction off his Most Valuable Player Award from the 1950 season on September 13, 2006, after he determined he could not figure out which of his children to will the special item to. The MVP award fetched $175,000. Three of Phil's World Series rings went for $84,825, and a Yankee cap with a wad of chewing gum on it went for $8,190.

Known throughout the baseball world as one of the most giving former athletes, the vast majority of the proceeds went to Phil's long-time favorite charity, the St. Joseph's School for the Blind located in Jersey City, New Jersey.[8]

This is the school that Rizzuto routinely mentioned during WPIX broadcasts of Yankee games over the years, where his friend since 1951, Ed Lucas, attended.[7]

Credits former teammate and Hall of Famer Joe DiMaggio with introducing him to his wife of over fifty years, Cora.

Former Pro Wrestler turned author Mick Foley wrote a baseball themed novel entitled "Scooter" in which the main character Scooter Reilly is named after Rizzuto.

In an article in 1976 in Esquire magazine, sportswriter Harry Stein published an "All Time All-Star Argument Starter," consisting of five ethnic baseball teams. Rizzuto was the shortstop on Stein's Italian team.

The minor league team, Staten Island Yankees named their mascot Scooter "the holy" Cow, after Rizzuto.

In the movie, Sea of Love (1989), Al Pacino plays a police detective who, in the film's opening scene, goes undercover as Phil Rizzuto to bust wanted felons. The police organize a New York Yankees rally that's really an undercover sting operation...and mail "invitations" to dozens of wanted felons who show up thinking it's a meet and greet breakfast with their favorite Yankee players. Before the bad news is revealed, Pacino is serving orange juice to all the felons, wearing a Yankees windbreaker. One of the felons asks Pacino when the Yankees arrive and he responds with, "What...you don't recognize me?" When the felon doesn't, Pacino answers with, "Holy Cow!" And the felon smiles broadly in recognition, "Yeah, yeah...that IS you!" obviously referring to Rizzuto.

Rizzuto's 1953 Topps baseball card read in part: "Ty Cobb named the "Scooter" as one of the few modern ball players who could hold his own among old timers"

Rest in Peace Scooter, Rest in Peace...


Jeff said...

Sorry to hear that.

I lived in NJ for 2 yrs in the mid-90's and Scooter was still doing the middle innings on games on WPIX-TV. Admittedly, I'd only watch when they were playing the O's, but he was fun to listen to.

A real homer, but that's what you expect on the local station. I always smiled and laughed. . . oh, the stories. (Ya know, our generation just doesn't tell stories like his does.)

He was one of the good guys.

Pat said...

I love baseball stories from the 60's or earlier. Sadly, like scooter, many of these ball players are dieing away. Waite Hoyt used to tell stories during rain delays in cincinnati.

Let's hope the Yanks can make the playoffs for Rizzuto this year.

Go Yanks!