Coleman on the Scooter

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Former teammate and fellow HOFer Jerry Coleman [far right] on the Scooter [far left] as a player and broadcaster:

He was probably better at both jobs than anyone I have ever knownAs a player, he was better than people knew. He was brilliant . . . a giant at 5-foot-6 and 150 pounds. Other Yankees always got more credit than Phil, but he was the player who pulled it together….I remember Ted Williams once said that if Boston had Phil Rizzuto they’d have won five pennants. We all laugh about it, but the truth is Ted knew what he was talking about….It was an honor to play next to Phil on the field and be with him in the booth….I learned from Phil in the booth as well as on the field,” said Coleman, who is seven years younger than Rizzuto.

My favorite broadcast story was when the Yankees were playing Cleveland in a doubleheader. Before the game, we were told (Sam) McDowell and (Jack) Kralick were pitching for the Indians. Phil and I were going on and on about how McDowell’s control had gotten so much sharper. I think I said something about McDowell looking like a different pitcher. In about the fourth inning, the station called to say it was Kralick pitching the first game.

3 comments… add one
  • thanks for sharing this story yf…i didn’t know about the williams endorsement so i’m both surprised and impressed…gotta laugh about the cleveland doubleheader gaffe, because that was classic scooter, and part of what made him so endearing…i know he’s been criticized a lot for not being “professional” in the booth, and especially for being a homer, but there was a sweetness about him that i’ve never encountered again in any sportscaster…i’m still bummed today…

    dc August 15, 2007, 10:53 pm
  • I found this Johnny Pesky quote in David Halberstam’s “Summer of 49”:
    Rizzuto was in those years, “the best shortstop I’d ever seen. He was so quick, with extraordinarily quick feet; he could always make the plays. He was the best shortstop of the era- he held that team together the way Pee Wee Reese held the Dodgers together.”

    Anonymous August 16, 2007, 11:15 am
  • me,damnit. I hate typekey

    Andrews August 16, 2007, 11:16 am

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