Phil Rizzuto RIP
Tinsel and Rot takes a brief respite from relentless bashing of the New York Yankees to mourn the passing of the rare cool Yankee, Phil "Scooter" Rizzuto, who passed away Monday night at the age of 89. We don't like to admit fondness for any Yankee, but only a completely heartless human being would be unmoved by the Scooter's passing. Even if you didn't admire him as the type of ballplayer who, by all accounts, fought hard every game, you would have to admit that there was probably never a more entertaining guy in the broadcast booth. From the constant cannoli talk to the "Holy Cow"s to the unabashed fear of lightning, Rizzuto had it all. Plus, there were those Money Store commercials.
The autograph shown above was one of the first baseball autographs I ever got. Unfortunately, I didn't get to see Scooter in person. I had a little league game the day he was at a baseball card show in Staten Island, so my mom went to the show and got Scooter to sign my American League book (since that game was no doubt an embarrassing loss for my team, I clearly made the wrong decision). As I recall, she also gave him a copy of the seminal sports publication Sig-Dasz Sports, which I coauthored with my friend Donnie Daszkowski. I think I watched a few Yankees games in the days that followed to see if he mentioned it on air. He didn't, but I was still happy to know he had a copy. Hope he liked it.