Fun biography of the little shortstop from Glendale, New York who was constantly told that he was too small to be a ballplayer. Phil was scouted by several major league teams who gave up when then saw his diminutive size. During one tryout with the Dodgers, Casey Stengel told him that he should get his shoeshine kit and shine shoes.
Finally a tryout with the Yankees was his ticket to a professional career. First playing under Joe McCarthy and then for Casey Stengel, the man who had insulted him years earlier. The book shows the animosity that existed between the two men and Rizzuto was supposedly bitter long after Stengel's death.
Some interesting side stories including one time where Rizzuto was forced to do a favor for DiMaggio in an out of the way place in New Jersey and after reluctantly going he happened to see a young woman that fascinated him. He ends up camped out in that little New Jersey place for a month trying to coax the woman into dates. That woman, Cora, would later be his wife.
Other side stories include how the Navy almost prevented his wedding by insisting he play a baseball game for them. It was only through the strength of the other players refusing to play that allowed him to attend his own wedding.
Not one of the best baseball biographies I have read but a good book nonetheless!
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Many baseball fans know that Rizzutto, just 5"6' and 160 pounds, was a diminutive player who overcame his size to beome a five-time All-Star, the 1950 American League MVP, and that he helped the Yankees win seven world series titles during his 13-year career. Casual fans may say Scooter was playing over his head and had a great cast of teammates that would make any average player look better. However, DeVito reveals in Scooter: The Biography of Phil Ruzzutto that size never defined Rizzutto.