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Not Scooter Again
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Baseball is something I don't often mention here, even though checking the baseball news is practically the first thing I do every morning. As is the case with politics, any thoughts I have on the sport are cobbled together from opinions already better expressed by more knowledgeable writers.

However, I can't help noting that former Yankee shortstop and announcer (and Hall of Famer) Phil "Scooter" Rizzuto selling off his memorabilia.

He used to be teamed up on Yankee telecasts with Bill White. The Scooter was one of those announcers who sit and watch the game with you. In between the action -- in other words, most of the time -- he'd reminisce, praise his wife's cooking and send out birthday greetings. He also worried about the weather, not surprisingly. The aerie of the announcer's booth isn't a good place for anyone with a fear of lightning.

I recall one televised game during which he spent a couple innings paying less attention to the diamond that to the storm clouds gathering in the distance and visible over the centerfield wall, as obliging displayed by the cameramen from time to time.

"I don't like the look of those clouds, White."

"Those are definitely thunderheads."

"I think those clouds are getting closer. There's no doubt about it, White. They're getting closer."

"Holy cow! Did you see that bolt of lightning? I'm outta here."

After which viewers were treated to a shot of a bemused Bill White seated behind his microphone next to an empty chair.

I caught parts of innumerable Yankee broadcasts over my car radio so it seemed fitting that one of the items of memorabilia going up for sale is the platinum record for Meat Loaf's Paradise by the Dashboard Light. The first time I heard that song I was floored when the unmistakable voice of Phil Rizzuto suddenly showed up:

Ok, here we go, we got a real pressure cooker going here, two down, nobody on, no score, bottom of the ninth, there's the wind-up and there it is, a line shot up the middle, look at him go. This boy can really fly! He's rounding first and really turning it on now, he's not letting up at all, he's gonna try for second; the ball is bobbled out in center, and here comes the throw, and what a throw! He's gonna slide in head first, here he comes, he's out! No, wait, safe--safe at second base, this kid really makes things happen out there. Batter steps up to the plate, here's the pitch-- he's going, and what a jump he's got, he's trying for third, here's the throw, it's in the dirt-- safe at third! Holy cow, stolen base! He's taking a pretty big lead out there, almost daring him to try and pick him off. The pitcher glances over, winds up, and it's bunted, bunted down the third base line, the suicide squeeze in on! Here he comes, squeeze play, it's gonna be close, here's the throw, there's the play at the plate, holy cow, I think he's gonna make it!

The Scooter calling the action in the backseat. How cool is that?

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