Tuesday, August 14, 2007

What a huckleberry of a day

Phil Rizzuto, Hall of Fame shortstop for the Yankees of the '40s and '50s and a tri-state area sportscasting icon, has died. I'm working on a tribute to the Scooter's TV work for tomorrow's paper, but in the meantime, two links: a YouTube clip of one of his very awkward commercials for The Money Store, and the Amazon page for O Holy Cow, the very funny, very sweet collection of the Scooter's "poetry" (really just things Phil said during Yankee broadcasts, put into verse).


Anonymous said...

And John From Cincinatti is John from Off the Air now. Sad.

Anonymous said...

Phil Rizzuto was an outstanding guy. When my brother and I were little, sometimes we'd stand outside the press gate before the game and he would always stop to chat and give autographs, even if he was late (which he usually was).

I think Maury Allen told this story in one of his books:

When "Deep Throat" became a mainstream hit, a few reporters and players planned to see it one day during a road trip. They invited Rizzuto, but he declined, stressing that "Cora would kill me."

Allen and the rest went to the movie, and when Linda Lovelace started performing the skill that made her famous, they heard a familiar voice in the back of the theatre exclaim, "Holy Cow!"

It would be great for Channel 11 to rerun or post the half-hour tribute they made when he left the booth. The show ends with a montage of Rizzuto highlights (set to "Classical Gas"--what else?) and the final clip is a beauty shot of "The Bridge" where Scooter was always trying to get.

Anonymous said...

In my haste to mention JfromC, I'm sorry if I appeared disrespectful to Scooter.

I grew up outside of Philly, but I used to catch Yankee games on Channel 11. Scooter was the reason why I could stomach watching the Yankees.

He surely is a NYC icon.

Louis said...

The article about Rizzuto on the NY Times site this afternoon claims Harry Caray once asked him to stop using the phrase, "Holy Cow!"

Now, I loved Harry, but -- huh?

Alan Sepinwall said...

Caray had been using "Holy Cow!" in his broadcasts well before Scooter even got in the booth. Rizzuto's defense (which I believe, simply because it's the kind of guy Rizzuto was) was that he'd been using the phrase since he was a kid to avoid having to curse.

Tom said...


Fly ball right field
It's gonna drop in.
No it's not gonna drop in.
Happy 46th wedding anniversary
Thomas and Mary Ann Clearwater.
That's it.
The last three, six, nine, twelve Yankees
Went down in order.
So that's it.
The game is over.

Scooter, we hardly knew ye.

Toby O'B said...

I'm sure you'll be mentioning his appearance on 'Bilko', when he suddenly had the name Phil "Calhoun" Rizzuto, (along with Yogi "Ashley" Berra and other Yankees) in hopes of signing a Southern boy who was a pitching whiz (and played by Dick Van Dyke).