Philip Francis Rizzuto was born September 25, 1917, and he spent his entire 13-year major league career (1941-1956) with the New York Yankees. During that time, the Yankees won an astonishing 10 American League pennants and seven World Championships.
From 1943 to 1945, Rizzuto spent some time away from MLB for a stint in the military, serving in the United States Navy during World War II. During those two years, he played on a Navy baseball team, alongside Dodgers shortstop Pee Wee Reese.
In 1950, Rizzuto was named the American League’s Most Valuable Player. He was known as a terrific defensive player, with 1,217 career double plays and a .968 career fielding average.
After his playing career, Rizzuto enjoyed a 40-year career as a radio and television sports announcer for the Yankees. He was particularly known for his trademark expression, “Holy cow!”
Phil Rizzuto was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1994. He died in his sleep on August 13, 2007.
Rizzuto’s induction speech is a hoot. Enjoy!