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Player: Rizzuto, Phil

Card: 1954 Topps #17

Position: SS

When Phil Rizzuto went to his first Major League tryout, a New York Giants coach told him he was too small to play in the big leagues and suggested he should make a living by shining shoes. But in a later tryout with the Yankees, Rizzuto impressed scout Paul Krichell, who recommended they sign the Brooklyn native. The five-foot-six, 150-pound shortstop went on to become the anchor of the infield for Yankees teams that won nine pennants and seven World Series in his twelve full seasons.

Scooter also won a Most Valuable Player award (1950), was enshrined in the Hall of Fame, and spent forty years as the voice of the Yankees on radio and television. He was an anchor member of Yankee’s dynasty that captured 10 AL titles and seven World Championships in his 13 seasons. In 1950, he was named the American League’s Most Valuable Player, and he was also second in MVP voting in 1949.

Phil was a rock solid fundamentals player, noted for his exceptional defense at shortstop. Rizzuto is also regarded as one of the best bunters in baseball history. He was well known for his trademark expression “holy cow!”, as highlighted in a Seinfeld episode as a talking keychain.

His HoF speech in 1994 is a classic and is considered by many the best HoF speech ever for its laughter, reminiscing and non-sequiturs. The crowd at the event loudly begged him to continue.

Rizzuto appeared in the 1977 hit Meatloaf song “Paradise by the Dashboard Light” (starting at 3:35). “The Scooter” also got a call out on Terry Cashman’s “Willie, Mickey and the Duke (Talkin’ Baseball)”.

A book of verse gleaned from Phil’s impromptu broadcasting that “capture(s) the unmistakable voice of the unforgettable Rizzuto” was published in the book “O, Holy Cow! The Selected Verse of Phil Rizzuto” by Phil Rizzuto, Tom Peyer (Editor), Hart Seely (Editor).

(parts excerpted from Wikipedia, BR Bullpen & SABR)

1948 Leaf #11
1951 Bowman #26
1952 Topps #11
2016 Topps #318

Listen to Larry Baldassaro’s interview with Phil here – or view the Next Stop on the Baseball Italian Style Tour

Phil is part of the New York City Born Player Tour – Go to the Next Stop

 Phil is also part of the Military Service during Wartime Tour – go to the Next Stop

Phil is part of the Hall of Fame Player Tour – Go to the Next Stop

Phil is also part of the MVP/Cy Young Tour – Go To The Next Stop

Rizzuto is also part of the Italian American Sports Hall of Fame Tour – Go to the Next Stop

The Scooter is part of the All-Star Player Tour – Go to the Next Stop

Phil is also part of the New York Yankee Players Tour – Go To the Next Stop

See all Scooter’s baseball cards at TCDB

Visit a random Italian American MLB player:

Johnny Barbato: 3 yrs in MLB, strong start

2 thoughts on “Phil “The Scooter” Rizzuto (HoF), AL MVP 1950, 5x All_Star, 7-time WS Champ, WW2 Vet

  1. Sean says:

    Hey Ralph, it’s Sean. What are the odds that you had this picture on your site and I happened to have this exact same card in a drawer next to me during our call??? Wow.

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