THE SCOOTER: The Phil Rizzuto Story by Gene Schoor

THE SCOOTER: The Phil Rizzuto Story

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Holy cow! A runt from Brooklyn is rejected by the Dodgers and Giants because of his size and later develops into star Yankee shortstop and veteran broadcaster Phil Rizzuto. Over 18 chapters (with titles like ""The Scooter in Love"" and ""The Scooter Meets Billy the Kid""), Rizzuto courts wife-to-be Cora (""love at first sight""); makes the Yankees (did McCarthy really say, ""Get in there, kid""?), enlists in the Navy (""If we had more men like me we would have lost the war""); becomes MVP (""There must be better players in the league than me!""); and is named Yankee announcer. Altogether, Schoor covers the same pinstriped ground as Pete Golenbock in Dynasty, unearthing no new insights or quotes. And the humorous Scooter stories--usually centering around the shortstop's phobias and gullibility--should be familiar to just about every fan. Youngsters, true, may be interested in verifying that Rizzuto actually was a famous and highly skilled ball player. (The book is also being published as a juvenile.) Adults, however, will chafe at the author's simplistic style and approach--and wonder how a man who played with or saw every Yankee star from DiMaggio to Mantle to Jackson could so successfully avoid controversy. How could he not have an opinion on Reggie, Billy, and George? Does he really enjoy broadcasting as much as Schoor would have us believe? The book, as harmless as Scooter himself, may even be a nudge to get him a deserved spot in baseball's Hall of Fame (see Appendix B: ""Hall of Fame Shortstops and the Scooter--A Comparison""). Nice guys don't necessarily finish last, but they usually don't make good copy without some fleshing out.

Pub Date: Sept. 25th, 1982
Publisher: Scribners