Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Remembering a New York legend

While most of you know I am not a Yankee fan, I did still grow up in New York and I did grow up watching Yankees baseball on television. Back in the day, because I am so old, we didn't have a satellite dish with the MLB package and you had to watch what was in your market.

So when I was growing up in the 70's and 80's, you couldn't not watch the Yankees broadcast without listening to Phil "the Scooter" Rizzuto. He was this 5-foot-6 man with a spirit the size as the tallest skyscraper. He used to be in the booth with Bill White and I can still hear him telling stories to him by starting with his typical, "Hey White....." and he always had at least one "Holy Cow " per game.

You may not have been a Yankee fan, but he was as famous in New York as Ernie Harwell in Detroit and Vin Scully in Los Angeles. The main difference was that Rizzuto also won seven World Series as a Yankee shortstop.

Watching Mike and Mike on ESPN today, they described it perfectly by saying that Rizzuto was the crazy uncle you never knew what he was going to say, but you loved him. Buster Olney talked about a Yankee icon and what he meant to the organization and baseball.

Mike Lupica talks about how Scooter made all of us part of his family. Three great columns in the NY Post about Rizzuto. Richard Sandomir of the NY Times wrote a great recap of the Scooter's life.

More from the NY Daily News and NY Post.

As George Steinbrenner said perfectly, "Heaven must have needed a shortstop." You didn't have to be a Yankee fan to love the Scooter.

He is and will be sorely missed.

1 comment:

Doug Hill said...

And how could we forget his voicing the play-by-play during Meatloaf's epic lovesong, "Paradise by the Dashboard Light."

Talk about a versatile ballplayer!