Rizzuto’s Hall of Fame Speech + Readers Remember


This video tribute cuts off the end of Scooter’s Hall of Fame acceptance speech, but it’s worth listening to just to hear him describe sticking grits in his pocket during his first trip south. It’s got some great pictures also.

Many readers shared their memories of Phil Rizzuto yesterday.

Too true. I’d get so hungry for lasagna and cannolies watching a yankee game, I’d not even care what the score was.
Posted by: Hank

I will always recall his response to Frank Messer’s announcement during a Sunday postgame in August of 1978 that Pope Paul VI had passed away.

“I’ll tell ya’, Messer – that’ll take the edge off even a big Yankee win.”
Posted by: fudd

For me, the greatest Scooter moments were the ones that betrayed his wonderfully tilted view of the world. There are tons of them in Hart Seely and Tom Peyer’s free-verse collection “O Holy Cow!” (many of which first appeared in the Voice, and a few of which are available on Rizzuto’s Wikipedia page); two of my favorites from personal memory, not from the book:

Rizzuto to Bill White, as a closeup of the full moon appears on the WPIX screen: “Hey, White, look at the moon! I think I can see Texas!” (Long pause.) “Awwww, Texas isn’t on the moon!”

Fran Healy on WABC radio: “Next up is Toby Harrah. Harrah is one of the few players whose name is a palindrome.”
Rizzuto: “A whaaaa?”
Healy: “A palindrome, Scooter. That means it’s spelled the same backwards and forwards.”
Rizzuto: “Oh.” (Pause.) “Oh, you mean like ‘orange.’”
Healy: “Orange? Scooter, orange isn’t spelled the same backwards and forwards.”
Rizzuto: “No, but you can’t think of a rhyme for it!”

Scooter was far from a classic broadcaster – this is, after all, the man who coined the scorecard notation “WW,” for “wasn’t watching” – but he was a welcome, warm, baseball-loving presence in the booth, at his best when paired with someone like Bill White or Tom Seaver, who could appreciate his digressions while occasionally reminding him of the presence of the game on the field. I.

Posted by: neil demause br>

Who could also forget the phrase that Rizzuto used for a homerun that was just hit as a “getty-goner” LOL.
Posted by: Mike

They had some kind of Phil Rizzuto Day at the stadium and as a joke they brought out a live cow to commemorate Phil constantly saying “Holy Cow!”. The cow promptly stepped on Phil’s foot and knocked him over. He handled it well. He was always able to laugh at himself which is part of what made him so endearing.
Posted by: Tom Croarkin

I fondly remember the time that Rizzuto said, in all seriousness, that there was no place in the Majors for a .500 pitcher. Bill White was rolling on the floor laughing, to the Scooter’s innocent chagrin.
Posted by: chemoelectric

Don’t forget the Money Store.
Posted by: patricia

You hit it on the head. Exactly what I remember about scooter. One time I remember him talking about how he got cannolis from these kids from the bronx but they melted cuz it was hot out. He then went on this tangent about how you gotta pack em in dry ice. Meanwhile, Dave Winfield hit a 3 run homer to tie the game. He just kept going. Then whomever he was commentating with got him off the subject and on the home run, but he STILL went back to the dry ice again ….unreal.
Posted by: Hanc

This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on August 15, 2007


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