Tuesday, August 14, 2007

So Long Scooter

About 25 or 30 years ago I stopped in at the legendary NYC pizza joint, Pizza City, on my way to visit Mom and Dad. Inside, I discovered lights, a camera crew and Yankee great Phil Rizzuto filming a TV commercial. Phil was about 60 at the time and still looked as if he could step out onto the field and play shortstop.

When he got to the punch line he went into a pantomime baseball swing and then flashed that great Rizzuto smile straight into the camera.

As he took his phantom swing I noticed his biceps and forearms, muscles rippling. Now Phil was 5'6" and weighed 150 pounds with his pockets full of quarters, but 20 plus years after his retirement as an active player he was still ripped. You could never notice it under those baggy uniforms they wore back then. At that moment I realized why elite athletes are elite athletes.

During the breaks for lighting and camera changes, Phil talked with the customers, signed autographs and retold some of those great stories we had all heard a thousands times, yet loved to hear once again.

So long Scooter. We'll miss you.

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