Phil Rizzuto, 1917-2007


I’m actually kind of choked up as I write this.  Phil Rizzuto, legendary Yankee player and broadcaster, passed away today at the age of 89.

I’ll always know Scooter as the voice of my childhood Yankees. I spent so many lazy summer nights listening to his late-inning shout-outs to the state of Florida, so many games listening to him crack up Bill White (who along with the rest of us just seemed to love his broadcast mate) on Channel 11. He will be missed. Rest in peace, Scooter.

16 comments… add one
  • Like Nick, Scooter’s voice and baseball were synonymous to me as a child. I honestly can not name a single person whose voice by way of cadence, timbre and message is more firmly etched in my mind than that of Phil Rizzuto’s. Thank you for the memories, Scooter.

    attackgerbil August 14, 2007, 11:43 am
  • my sentiments are the same fellas…my favorite announcer

    dc August 14, 2007, 12:20 pm
  • My dad once met Phil Rizzuto in a BJ’s Wholesale outlet – recognized his voice from 3 aisles across. Said he was there shopping with his wife and wasn’t too happy about it.
    Scooter, as an announcer, was way before my time (John Sterling is the voice of the Yankees for me), but you can always hear his voice on those old Yankeeographies, or made-for-TV Yankee legacy movies. Wish there was someone else like him.

    AndrewYF August 14, 2007, 12:25 pm
  • i met him once when i was a kid, at a signing. i remember being really embarrassed when my dad asked if scooter’s hands were alright.
    “dad, he wraps them all the time… his arthritis…”
    scooter gives me a wink and looks up at my dad, “next time, let the kid do the talking. he’s a sharp one.”
    i didn’t stop smiling for days.
    a few months back, i saw a story that said that scooter was auctioning memorabilia off. the article mentioned that he was the “oldest living hall of famer.” i had a sinking feeling as soon as i read that line.
    he was the voice of my childhood summers.
    i’ve missed him for years.
    to bring a bit of the sox into this, i ran across this a few minutes ago:
    “A a persuasive speech by Ted Williams pushed Rizzuto into Cooperstown in 1994… Williams, a member of the committee, argued that Rizzuto was the man who made the difference between the Yankees and his Red Sox. He was fond of saying, “If we’d had Rizzuto in Boston, we’d have won all those pennants instead of New York.”
    i hope they have canolis up there…

    Yankee Fan In Boston August 14, 2007, 1:52 pm
  • I’d feared this day for a long time. I don’t think there’s been any Yankee more genuinely and deservedly loved than the Scooter. For many of us YFs, this is like losing a grandparent.
    A very, very sad day.

    YF August 14, 2007, 2:02 pm
  • A sad day indeed…my first memories of watching the Yankees were on Channel 11…with Rizzuto and Bill White…on a 13 inch black and white in my kitchen.

    dknyc August 14, 2007, 2:21 pm
  • I can’t think of anything to say other then that just sucks.
    I was young, but I am pretty sure the day Seaver won his 300th was the same day as Phil Rizzuto day…There was a cow with a halo if I remember correctly…I was there, but I was young. I could be combining to occasions but I don’t think so…Help?

    John - YF (Trisk) August 14, 2007, 2:31 pm
  • I grew up with the Scooter. Man, I really miss that huckleberry.
    And it’s even sadder to know that this generation gets Sterling instead.

    Woosta YF August 14, 2007, 2:36 pm
  • I’ll be at the Stadium tonight, and hopefully they’ll have a moment of silence to remember him. He will indeed be missed.

    rz-yf August 14, 2007, 2:38 pm
  • I think your right Trisk…I remember his speech before the game, which he ended with something to the effect of: “Sorry Tom, you’ll have to do it in another city”

    dknyc August 14, 2007, 2:38 pm
  • > There was a cow with a halo if I remember correctly.
    I wasn’t there. I remember that I was listening on the radio, but I don’t really remember any details myself. From what I have read about that day, you remember correctly. I think the cow knocked Scooter over somehow, leading to big laughs.

    attackgerbil August 14, 2007, 2:46 pm
  • The best part of getting cable in 1980 was getting the Yankee games on channel 11 (Eleven… Eleven Alive!) and actually seeing The Scooter, who I listened to on AM radio as I fell asleep every night. It’s a sad loss, but what a full life that guy led. He followed up a Hall of Fame career (how many rings was that?) by becoming a beloved broadcaster (almost an oxymoron these days). He had a devoted wife. He was friends with some of baseball’s all-time titans. Most of us brag that we shook hands with some backup on the team… he was FRIENDS with Joe DiMaggio among lots of others. We’ll miss you, Scooter.

    Chris August 14, 2007, 3:18 pm
  • tom seaver did indeed win his 300th on phil rizzuto day (scooter always gave seaver a hard time about that while they were broadcast partners), and there was a haloed cow… it even knocked poor phil over during the festivities.

    Yankee Fan In Boston August 14, 2007, 3:25 pm
  • Holy cow, what a life.
    (Someone had to say it.)

    Hudson August 14, 2007, 4:16 pm
  • There are people who are great at what they do and then there are great people. Rizzuto was both. His small stature, totally endearing and honest personality, and quirky style as a broadcaster, all in addition to being a very solid and consistent player – especially defensively and on the basepads – all somehow combined to make him much more than just an athlete or announcer even to those, like me, who never actually met him. I think a lot of people feel like he was somehow part of their family.

    IronHorse-YF August 14, 2007, 6:01 pm
  • Goodbye, Scooter. Games just don’t seem like Yankee games since you retired. Thanks for so many wonderful memories…

    Andrews August 14, 2007, 6:39 pm

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