I am not and have not been at any time a Phil Rizzuto fan. He did however represent everything that people hate about the New York Yankees. He wasn’t a great short-stop (and certainly doesn’t belong in the hall of fame) didn’t have a very distinguished career, but he was a winner.
7 World Series rings he won playing for the Yankees. More than other much better players ever won. Rizzuto always had a knack of getting the big hit when it counted, he was the kind of player you wanted up at the plate if you were the opposing team, but not when the game was on the line.
As an announcer he was even worse. Those of us who have been forced to listen to Yankee’s games got awfully sick of his ‘Holy Cow’ calls. It even got funnier in later years when Rizzuto would have to leave games early, so that he could make sure he beat traffics across the George Washington Bridge.
By and large, Rizzuto had a solid career. He played with some of the games greatest players, on the some of the greatest teams of all time. As an announcer he got to make some famous calls (Roger Maris 61st Home Run stands out) and gave us many confusing quotes in his later years (Even Yogi Berra would blush). He is to the Yankees what Johnny Pesky is to the Red Sox, an organization man to the end of days. I’m happy that the Yankees want to honor him, which is fine, just don’t make the rest of us suffer.