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08/14/2007 4:06 PM ET
Statements on the passing of Phil Rizzuto
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Phil Rizzuto: Sept. 25, 1917 - Aug. 13, 2007

GEORGE M. STEINBRENNER
PRINCIPAL OWNER, NEW YORK YANKEES
"I guess heaven must have needed a shortstop. Phil Rizzuto's contributions to the Yankees and the sport of baseball were immense for a period of over 50 years. He was one of the greatest Yankees of all time and a dear, close friend of mine whose loss is enormous to me and to the entire Yankee family. He epitomized the Yankee spirit -- gritty and hard charging -- and he wore the pinstripes proudly. While Scooter may have been smaller in size than some, he was among the tallest in his stature as a Yankee. He was a favorite of fans both as a player and later as a broadcaster. His voice and "Holy Cow" will be part of baseball for as long as we play the game. No one deserved his place in the Hall of Fame more than Number 10. Our condolences to his wife, Cora, and the rest of his family."

YOGI BERRA
FORMER RIZZUTO TEAMMATE AND YANKEES LEGEND
"This is a sad day for Carmen and me. Phil was a gem, one of the greatest people I ever knew - a dear friend and great teammate. He was a heck of a player, too. When I first came up to the Yankees, he was like a big, actually small, brother to me. He has meant an awful lot to baseball and the Yankees and has left us with a lot of wonderful memories."

JOE TORRE
MANAGER, NEW YORK YANKEES
"Phil was a Hall-of-Famer both on and off the field, and when you were in his company, he made you feel like a family friend.

"Every time Scooter walked into my office, the first thing he'd say is, 'Where's Jeter? Where's Jeter?' A few minutes later I'd see the two of them giving big hugs to each other in the clubhouse. That's the type of person Phil was, you just couldn't figure out how such a big heart could fit inside such a small body."

BOBBY RICHARDSON
FORMER RIZZUTO TEAMMATE (1955-56)
"When I joined the Yankees at age 19, Phil became my first roommate. The train left spring training that season to head north and he shared the seat next to me. Later in Phil's career, [Manager] Casey Stengel would sometimes pinch-hit for him late in the game, and then I would enter the game at shortstop. Can you imagine, me playing defense for Phil Rizzuto!

"I learned so much about baseball and life from Phil. He was fun-loving off the field, and on the field he was the one person that kept the team together. He was deservedly recognized by the Hall of Fame, and it was an honor to be his teammate and friend."

DEREK JETER
SHORTSTOP AND CAPTAIN, NEW YORK YANKEES
"Mr. Rizzuto serves as the ultimate reminder that physical stature has little bearing on the size of a person's heart. Nothing was ever given to Phil, and he used every ounce of his ability to become one of the greatest Yankees to ever wear this uniform."

DON LARSEN
FORMER RIZZUTO TEAMMATE (1955-56)
"Phil was one of the most jovial people you'd ever come across. We were teammates for a short time, but he made a lasting impression with everyone whose life intersected his. He and his wife, Cora, were a special couple, and my heart goes out to her and the rest of the Rizzuto family."

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