Goodbye, Scooter.

Phil Rizzuto, beloved Yankee shortstop and broadcaster, is dead at 89. I did not recieve the great pleasure of seeing Scooter play his magnificent defense and contact hitting or hear him broadcast a game live, but it hits me just as hard nonetheless. Part of Yankee lore, a Hall of Famer, and reciever of a great privilege-having his number retired, to have no New York Yankee wear number 10 ever again, Phil was a true Yankee. Period. Goodbye to a beloved friend of the Yankee family.




    Had heard Phil broadcast many a Yankee game in my younger days. Among the many fond memories I had, one was how easily distracted he became if there was even the mere mention of lightning during a game, let alone the real thing. On a number of these occasions, Phil would mysteriously disappear from the broadcast booth (no doubt to some underground bunker deep inside the bowels of Yankee Stadium) and not be seen or heard from again, or at least until the coast was clear. He also had an aversion to snakes, spiders, and Eddie Stanky. Stanky played for the rival White Sox during Phil’s tenure as a player, and according to Phil, “would cheat against his own mother” if it meant winning a game. He’d go on and on about how Stanky once deliberately kicked the ball out of Phil’s glove sliding into second base that cost the Yankees a critical game during their run for the pennant one year. Then of course there was the cannolis in the booth, the personalized birthday greetings to ‘Uncle Carmine’ (or whomever) on their such and such birthday or anniversaries, and the oft premature “botched” calls as he entered his retirement years and his vision declined: (“THAT BALL’S HIT DEEP TO RIGHT CENTERFIELD AND… IT’S OUTTA HERE!!? oops, what the…Holy Cow, Baylor somehow got under that one and made the play just before the warning track…”).
    There never was and never will be anyone like him. He’s playing for the Angels now (“Holy Cow”), but still wearing a Yankee cap (with a wad of chewing gum on top).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s