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February 03, 2006

Phil Rizzuto Collection For Sale

From The Post:

Phil Rizzuto sat at a corner table yesterday morning at Mickey Mantle's Restaurant and, for a while it was paradise at the dashboard light again for anyone who had ever watched him play or listen to him broadcast a Yankee game.

He was in town to promote the Phil Rizzuto Collection, his personal memorabilia that will be auctioned off this summer by Geppi's Memorabilia Road Show (www.gmrs.com). Included in the stunning 1,000-lot collection are such keepsakes as his 1950 uniform and cap with a 56-year-old piece of gum still stuck on top, World Series rings, a Yogi Berra mitt, a 1956 Mickey Mantle Christmas card to Phil and the platinum record for the Meat Loaf classic "Paradise By The Dashboard Light."

Phil and Cora, who have been married for 62 years, will be leaving their New Jersey home, the same home they raised their four children in and move to upstate New York to live with their daughter Penny and her family.

Why do I fear (reading this) that we're going to see black arm bands on the Yankees unis some time this season?

Posted by Steve Lombardi at February 3, 2006 10:08 AM


I'm sure they have their reasons for moving and auctioning stuff off...

Hopefully none of the reasons are health-related (I wouldn't think so, if they're moving upstate)

Listening to the report on the news this morning, I was thinking about some Rizzuto memories. He seems to be a genuinely nice person and I wish him the best. His commentary on PIX bothered some, but I thought it added a nice "homespun" touch to the broadcasts, sending out well-wishes and talking about cannolis, and of course introducing "WW" into the scoring lexicon. He may have said otherwise, but I've always felt that PIX not allowing him to attend Mantle's funeral back in '95 was the reason for his retiring, and I hold them responsible.

I attended a Phil Rizzuto Day at the Stadium a few years back. I think it was his wedding anniversary, the occasion has been lost to time (which is scary, as it wasn't all that long ago). I do remember the organization gave him a car (also lost to time, don't remember if it was a Mustang, or a T-Bird), and he and Cora (a beautiful woman if I ever saw one) did a lap around the field in it.

And who could forget his HoF speech? I was there (actually, in transit, as I encountered car trouble on I-88). I did manage to catch a rebroadcast on MSG, and it was one of the funniest things I've ever seen. Whether it was him swatting at (and eventually getting) flies, or remarking that he was suprised he didn't see any Italians in New Guinea, it was by far the most unique speech I've ever heard.

I wish he and Cora and the rest of the Rizzuto family all the best.

Posted by: Raf [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 3, 2006 11:18 AM

Raf, maybe you're thinking of the Phil Rizzuto Day in 1994? (obviously for this HoF induction). I remember going to that game. They had to move the date of the ceremony at the Stadium because of the looming strike (which started a couple days after this game).

Or you could be thinking of 2 years ago when they gave away the bronze statuettes of him.

Posted by: Jen [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 3, 2006 01:54 PM

I loved listening to the Scooter on PIX. To me, his announcing embraced one of the pleasures of going to a baseball game. You get to sit and talk with a friend, and every so often something happens on the field. Baseball is leisurely, not slow.

Posted by: rbj [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 3, 2006 02:25 PM

Oh and PS, IIRC, didn't Scooter spend the war years in the Navy, riding horses in the desert Southwest?

Posted by: rbj [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 3, 2006 02:38 PM

White used to razz him on that - Phil claiming to be in the "Naval Calvary." It was classic.

Posted by: Steve Lombardi [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 3, 2006 02:46 PM

Jen - maybe it was '94; I haven't been going to many games the last few years. I was sitting in the upper deck, which I stopped doing on a regular basis in '95, I think. I had been splitting time between the UD & the bleachers.

What year did Ali Ramirez pass away? I was at the game, in the bleachers, for that announcement. His face was featured on the jumbotron, which I thought to be a nice touch by the organization.

Anyway do you remember the events I described? The lap around the park with Cora?

Posted by: Raf [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 3, 2006 03:38 PM

Ali passed away in '96. I wasn't in the bleachers at that point (still in college), but I'm pretty sure it was right around the time of Gooden's no-hitter. In fact I think I remember reading that his funeral was on the same day. If you catch a re-run of the game, they cut away to a couple signs for Ali.

I don't remember the lap around the park. But I do remember getting souvenir LeRoy Neiman posters and it seemed like half of them ended up on the field in the form of paper airplanes. It was a Tuesday night game btw, if that helps any.

Posted by: Jen [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 3, 2006 05:25 PM

hmmm, the game I was at was a day game; weekend...

Posted by: Raf [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 5, 2006 01:24 PM

Ali Ramirez did die in 1996. To be exact he died May 8, 1996. My grandfather was buried the day of the no hitter. I still remember that day; every one said that my grandfather Ali was the star above the stadium. He was a true Yankee’s fan. Thank you all for remembering him still after 10 years.

Posted by: Ali’s Grand-daughter [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 26, 2006 03:28 PM