Phil Rizzuto


Phil Rizzuto, Hall of Fame shortstop for the New York Yankees who went on to a long career as a television broadcaster for the team, died Aug. 14 at a nursing home in West Orange, N.J. He was 89. Besides his exploits in baseball and in broadcasting, he also was known for charitable endeavors. One beneficiary was St. Joseph's School for the Blind in Jersey City, a private Catholic institution founded and sponsored by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace. Mr. Rizzuto raised more than $2 million through his work organizing celebrity golf tournaments and through his own family's donations. As a result, the school was able to open a new two-story, 75,000-square-foot facility in Jersey City Feb. 20. Mr. Rizzuto and his family were parishioners of St. Catherine of Siena parish, Hillside, N.J. Elected to Major League Baseball's Hall of Fame in 1994, Mr. Rizzuto was a five-time All-Star, and in 1950 he was named Most Valuable Player of the American League. He played on Yankee teams that won 11 pennants and seven World Series between 1941 and 1956. After his playing career ended, he announced Yankee games for four decades. Nicknamed "the Scooter" because of his speed and slick fielding skills, he was born in Brooklyn and moved to Queens with his family at age 12. He served three years with the U.S. Navy during World War II. Mr. Rizzuto is survived by his wife, Cora, and four children. A Funeral Mass was offered Aug. 17 at St. Anne's Church in Garwood, N.J.; a memorial service is being planned at Yankee Stadium later in the season.



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