Phil Rizzuto, the Hall of Fame shortstop during the Yankees’ dynasty years and beloved by a generation of fans for exclaiming “Holy cow!” as a broadcaster, died Tuesday. He was 89.
His death was confirmed by the Yankees. Rizzuto had been in declining health for several years and was living at a nursing home in West Orange, N.J.
Rizzuto, known as “The Scooter,” played for the Yankees throughout the 1940s and ’50s and won seven World Series titles.
UPDATE, 12:16 p.m.: Here is a statement from George Steinbrenner:
“I guess heaven must have needed a shortstop. Phil Rizzuto’s contributions to the Yankees and the sport of baseball were immense for a period of over 50 years. He was one of the greatest Yankees of all time and a dear, close friend of mine whose loss is enormous to me and to the entire Yankee family. He epitomized the Yankee spirit – gritty and hard charging – and he wore the pinstripes proudly.
While Scooter may have been smaller in size than some, he was among the tallest in his stature as a Yankee. He was a favorite of fans both as a player and later as a broadcaster. His voice and â€œHoly Cowâ€? will be part of baseball for as long as we play the game.
No one deserved his place in the Hall of Fame more than Number 10. Our condolences to his wife, Cora, and the rest of his family.â€?