Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Phil Rizzuto, 1917-2007

Anyone who has read my blog for a while knows that I loathe, hate and despise the New York Yankees. However, this doesn't necessarily translate to the individual level. Today I saw someone wearing an old Yanks jersey with the name O'Neill on the back, and thought, "What excellent taste." I'd feel the same about someone wearing one that said "Williams." DiMaggio, Gehrig, Ruth: all names I revere. Even Maris and Mantle.

One who fit in that category was Phil "Scooter" Rizzuto, who died today at the age of 89. A Brooklyn native, he tried out for the Dodgers, and never forgave Leo Durocher for saying the unforgivable: "You might as well go shine shoes." The Yanks, to their credit, saw a diamond in the rough and signed him. He was with them from 1941 to 1956, and contributed to seven world championships. He's probably best remembered, however, as a game announcer for the Yanks, a role he filled until 1996. It was this guise that enabled his brief foray into rock 'n' roll.

To finish this off, I'm going to abase myself by giving you a link to a rabidly pro-Yankee blog.

Update: Joe Martini shares a Scooter memory here.