Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Paradise by the broadcast booth
I would be remiss, on the sad occasion of his death, if I didn't offer a tribute to the literary excellence of that poet of the broadcast booth, Phil Rizzuto.

What? You didn't know the Scooter was not just an American League MVP and multiple World Series winner -- not to mention the play-by-play caller in Meat Loaf's "Paradise by the Dashboard Light" (the sexual connotations of which, allegedly, caught Rizzuto by surprise) -- but a published poet?

Thanks to Tom Peyer and Hart Seely, he is. In 1997, the pair published "O Holy Cow" (Ecco), a collection of verse based on calls, comments and non-sequiturs Rizzuto had made during games. A sampling:

"A little high./Two balls/No strikes.//Riverview Medical Center/Is down the Jersey shore.//Three balls/No strikes." ("F.Y.I.")

"Bobby Thigpen out there./Number thirty-seven./That's the guy in the Peanuts cartoon./Pigpen./That's a joke./That guy in Peanuts with Charlie Brown./He's always dirty./Oh yeah./Every day./Orphan Annie./You know,/She hasn't changed in thirty-two years." ("Forever Young")

"O it was always intense./Just as you said/And it was not a regular/Not a regular game at all./It was every game meant so much,/You know,/One seemed to top the other." ("Remember When")

Lemme tell ya Scooter, the next time I'm in New York, I'll take a drive over the bridge to a place like Fair Lawn to get a cannoli. And I will listen to a game. And I will remember.
A true legend. He will be missed. Thank you for honoring his memory!
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