View Full Version : RIP Phil Rizzuto

Andrew Longman
08-14-07, 07:37 PM
Not a lot of Yankee fans here but Phil was among the most likable gentlemen whose full life sadly ended today six weeks shy of his 90th birthday.

What you'll likely find in his many obits: seven rings in 13 major league seasons.

What you won't likely see:

-- Howard Cossell said PR would never make it as a broadcaster because he looked like George Burns and sounded like Groucho Marx. He spent 40+ years as a Yankee broadcaster

-- Once spent almost an entire game debating with co-announcer Bill White the hypothetical benefits of seedless watermelon. Little mention of the game in progress.

-- Never completed a broadcast without some mention of his bride Cora

-- Never completed a broadcast without some mention of the best place to get a good canole

-- Never went into the booth without his stack of cards to help him remember call outs to worthy charities, get well wishes, birthday announcements, top shelf cannoli joints, restaurant that fed him, or shops that gave him a good mattress or such.

-- Loved his sips of Vodka, especially with his buddy Yogi. Yogi shared a sip a every Wednesday in Phil's nursing home up until the end.

-- On his scorecard, would often mark "WW" for "wasn't watching.

-- Utter fear of lightning. With the first crack of thunder without a word, Phil would "leave the building" for safer shelter of home. Didn't matter if he was in the Bronx or Arlington, TX

-- Formed a liftime friendship with a kid who came to see him shortly after being hit in the face by a baseball and blinded.

A great and gentle man. We should all be so lucky to live so full of live, so many friends, and so few enemies

This is widely regarded as the best Hall of Fame speech ever. It's long but funny as hell and pure Rizzuto.


08-14-07, 09:19 PM
Holy cow! :thumbup:

RIP, Scooter. :(

One of the talking heads on ESPN Radio described a time when Rizzo covered scoring a game for his booth mate while he took a leak. Apparently Rizzo scored an AB as 'WW', and when the batter was up next, announcer looked @ the notation and asked Rizzo what it meant. Wasn't watching replied Rizzo. :laugh: :thumbup:


Andrew Longman
08-14-07, 09:55 PM
Wasn't watching replied Rizzo. :laugh: :thumbup:


Classic Rizzuto.:laugh:

For people my age Rizzuto is the source of great memories and broadcasts during the Yankees bleak and glory years of the 60s-early 90s. He called every one of Guidry's 25 game wins and the 77-78 championships. For my Dad he was a cornerstone of great on the field exploits of the 40s-50s.

Not many people span generations in such impressive and different ways.

08-14-07, 11:15 PM
Never cared about baseball but he was definitely one of the recognizeable voices of my youth...

Ok, here we go, we got a real pressure cooker
going here, two down, nobody on, no score,
bottom of the ninth, there's the wind-up and
there it is, a line shot up the middle, look
at him go. This boy can really fly!
He's rounding first and really turning it on
now, he's not letting up at all, he's gonna
try for second; the ball is bobbled out in center,
and here comes the throw, and what a throw!
He's gonna slide in head first, here he comes, he's out!
No, wait, safe--safe at second base, this kid really
makes things happen out there.
Batter steps up to the plate, here's the pitch--
he's going, and what a jump he's got, he's trying
for third, here's the throw, it's in the dirt--
safe at third! Holy cow, stolen base!
He's taking a pretty big lead out there, almost
daring him to try and pick him off. The pitcher
glance over, winds up, and it's bunted, bunted
down the third base line, the suicide squeeze in on!
Here he comes, squeeze play, it's gonna be close,
here's the throw, there's the play at the plate,
holy cow, I think he's gonna make it!

Don Quixote
08-14-07, 11:31 PM
That is a great story nrc. He was duped into doing that song by meatloaf, and he had no idea that the song wasn't really about baseball.