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Sunday, April 3, 2011

Number 114: Phil Rizzuto "Reversal of Opinion"

Reversal of Opinion

And he hits one in the hole
They're gonna have to hurry.
They got him.
How do you like that?
Holy Cow.
I changed my mind before he got there.
So that doesn't count as an error.

-- Phil Rizzuto

Hap Notes: Friends send me Holy Cow! The Selected Verse of Phil Rizzuto and I've been anxious to use one. Two baseball fans/writers, Tom Peyer and Hart Seely, thought Rizzuto's on-air transcripts made for poetry and they framed some of his comments as such. Rizzuto (1917-2007), or "the Scooter" is familiar to baseball fans all over even though Rizzuto was loyal to the Yankee pinstripes even in his broadcasting career.

Born in Brooklyn, Rizzuto played shortstop with the Yankees from 1941-1956. He was a color-commentator broadcaster for the Yanks from the early 60s until 1996. His colorful phrasing and Brooklyn accent made for a very textured and fun baseball broadcast. He won the MVP in 1950 as a player and as a broadcaster he teamed up with the likes of Red Barber, Mel Allen, Joe Garagiola, Tom Seaver, Billy Martin and Bobby Murcer.

Here's high praise for his playing – Ted Williams once said that the Red Sox would have won the pennants in all their playoffs in the late 40s if they'd had Rizzuto. Rizzuto was a wiry, energetic player whom the fans loved.

Rizzuto is the broadcaster who first said "Holy Cow!" on ballgames. (Much as I loved Halsey Hall credit must go to Rizzuto). He was also the baseball broadcaster on Meatloaf's "Paradise By The Dashboard Light." Rizzuto got a gold record from it.

There's plenty of stuff online on the colorful, long, rich and varied career of Rizzuto. I even think the poem/quip has more than a kernel of Zen in it.

P.S. Sorry this is so late. I forgot to push "save". Twice. It's one of those days. Time for a glass of wine, some cookies and an Amitabh Bachchan movie. Or maybe just the cookies.

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