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Phil Rizzuto, HOF Yankee SS, dead at 89-

Discussion in 'All Other Sports' started by BFISA, Aug 14, 2007.

  1. BFISA

    BFISA Well-Known Member

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    RIP Scooter

    Rizzuto, Yankee Hall of Famer, dies at age 89

    ESPN.com news services

    Updated: August 14, 2007, 11:34 AM ET



    Phil Rizzuto, the Hall of Fame shortstop who went on to fame for his unique broadcasting style, died late Monday night. He was 89.

    His death was confirmed by the Yankees. Rizzuto had been in declining health for several years and was living at a nursing home in West Orange, N.J.

    Rizzuto, nicknamed "The Scooter," was the oldest living member of the Baseball Hall of Fame prior to his death. He was inducted in 1994 by the Veterans Committee.

    Rizzuto, noted as one of the best defensive shortstops in the history of the game, was the American League Most Valuable Player in 1950 and played in five All-Star games. In his MVP season, Rizzuto hit .324 and scored 125 runs.

    He played for the New York Yankees from 1941 to 1956. The Yankees won seven World Series titles during Rizzuto's career.

    Rizzuto's lifetime batting average was .273. He was second to Boston's Ted Williams in the 1949 MVP balloting.

    He went on to be a Yankees broadcaster for more than 40 seasons. His unique style was accented with his famous phrase, "Holy Cow!" when a great play was made.

    Rizzuto was on the call when Roger Maris hit his 61st career home run to eclipse the single-season home run record previously held by Babe Ruth.

    Rizzuto was a flashy, diminutive player who could always be counted on for a perfect bunt, a nice slide or a diving catch in a lineup better known for its cornerstone sluggers. He played for 13 seasons alongside the likes of Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle.

    He stood just 5-foot-6 but was equipped with a productive bat, sure hands and quick feet that earned him his nickname. A leadoff man, Rizzuto was a superb bunter, used to good advantage by the Yankee teams that won 11 pennants and nine World Series between 1941 and 1956.

    Rizzuto tried out with the Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Giants when he was 16, but because of his size was dismissed by Dodgers manager Casey Stengel, who told him to "Go get a shoeshine box." He went on to become one of Stengel's most dependable players.

    A Rizzuto bunt, a steal and a DiMaggio hit made up the scoring trademark of the Yankees' golden era, and he played errorless ball in 21 consecutive World Series games. DiMaggio said the shortstop "held the team together."

    Rizzuto came to the Yankees in 1941 and batted .307 as a rookie, and his career was interrupted by a stint in the Navy during World War II. He returned in 1946 and four years later became the American League MVP. He batted .324 that season with a slugging percentage of .439 and 200 hits, second most in the league. He also went 58 games without an error, making 288 straight plays.

    He led all AL shortstops in double plays three times and had a career batting average of .273 with at least a .930 fielding percentage.

    Information from The Associated Press is included in this report
     
  2. AnteaterCharger

    AnteaterCharger Calibrating Bolttalk, Podcast by Podcast Staff Member Super Moderator Podcaster

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    damn - he was a wonderful guy and a great ball player


    RIP brother
     
  3. Boltdiehard

    Boltdiehard Well-Known Member

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    Is it just me or does anybody have a hard time mourning somebody I never knew or watched play? :icon_shrug:
     
  4. BFISA

    BFISA Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, you can hardly be blamed for feeling like that...IMHO, this is the most important part of the article-

    "Rizzuto came to the Yankees in 1941 and batted .307 as a rookie, and his career was interrupted by a stint in the Navy during World War II."

    The use of the word "heroes" and "warriors" as applied to athletes is over-used, IMHO. The true Heroes/Heroines and Warriors are those that have left their homes, familes, and chosen endeavors to defend our country, and that includes Ted Williams, Jerry Coleman, Warren Spahn, Hank Bauer, Pat Tillman, and Scooter Rizzuto.

    I didn't see him play either; I ain't that old :icon_eek:. But I know he sacrificed 3 years of his MLB career to serve his country, and that deserves my attention.
     
  5. Boltdiehard

    Boltdiehard Well-Known Member

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    OK gotcha Toby. :tup:
     
  6. megold0715

    megold0715 Well-Known Member

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    R.i.p Scooter you will be missed Holy Cow
     
  7. AnteaterCharger

    AnteaterCharger Calibrating Bolttalk, Podcast by Podcast Staff Member Super Moderator Podcaster

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    i grew up with the yankee history so i know bout Rizzuto

    He was an outstanding SS defensively, Ted WIlliams thought he was one of the best ever, a fantastic bunter and one of the leaders of the club throughout the Dimaggio/Mantle era who kept everyone pretty loose. He also was the Yankee announcer for years and years, all the way up til they started winning again in the mid 90s.
    He made the famous call on Maris's 61st home run and Jackson's HRs in October.
     

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