Phil Rizzuto RIP
Very sad... like losing a family member. My favorite sports broadcaster ever.http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/14/sp...tml?ref=sports
Over four decades in the Yankee announcing booth, he transformed himself from a conventional announcer with a distinctly New York voice into a comic presence whose broadcasts often diverged from actual game-calling.
To those who heard him exclaim “Holy cow!” for a play (or a cannoli) that excited him, or chide a player as a “huckleberry” for committing an error, Rizzuto was a beloved, idiosyncratic voice despite his lack of professional credentials.
Rizzuto’s game commentary vied for time with anniversary wishes and confirmation congratulations. He never used the first names of his partners at WPIX-TV — they were “Coleman,” “Murcer,” “White,” “Messer,” “Seaver,” or “Cerone,” never Jerry, Bobby, Bill, Frank, Tom or Rick. Listeners heard about his wife (he called her “my bride”), an employment appeal for his son, Scooter Jr., reports about his golf game or exultations about a new Italian dish.
Rizzuto’s ramblings and pro-Yankee sentiments maddened detractors, who felt he paid too little attention to the game. But fans adored Rizzuto as they would a delightful uncle, and colleagues were fond of recalling his scorecard notation of “W.W.,” for “Wasn’t Watching.”
Rizzuto often left a game at Yankee Stadium before its conclusion to beat the traffic over the George Washington Bridge. As one game headed into extra innings, he asked Messer, “Want a cup of coffee?” Messer nodded. But Rizzuto was gone, to his home in New Jersey. As he entered the broadcast booth the next day, Rizzuto tapped Messer on the shoulder and said, “Here’s your coffee.”