Pour a little out for Phil Rizzuto. The Yankee shortstop and legendary broadcaster has died at 89.
He’ll be remembered as pesky shortstop who played on seven World Champion teams, but for many New Yorkers of a certain age, Rizzuto will always be the voice of the Yankees on Channel 11.
I’m not a Yankee fan but I always loved Rizzuto, especially in his later years when he seemed like someone’s crazy uncle who had somehow got into the Yankees broadcast booth. “Oooh, loved those cannolies,” crazy Zio Phil would say, oblivious to the fact that bases were loaded in the top of the eighth in a tie ballgame. “Thanks to Barbara from Brooklyn for those. Oooh.”
There were times when he would get on a tangent—talking about his wife Cora, for example—and it was clear that he forgot about the baseball game unfolding in front of him. But like your crazy uncle, he remembered everyone’s birthdays, sending out birthday wishes— often in the middle of a play-by-play call.
Who could forget “Holy Cow,” the Money Store commercials, and his memorable turn on Meatloaf’s “Paradise by the Dashboard Light?”
It’s sad. Got any Scooter memories? I know I’m forgetting a lot.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on August 14, 2007