O Holy Cow!

The poems on this page have been taken from the book

O Holy Cow! The Selected Verse of Phil Rizzuto

edited by Tom Peyer and Hart Seely. The Ecco Press. New Jersey. 1993.

All poems are copyright © 1993 by Phil Rizzuto.

Hero or the Goat

All right, this is it,

The whole season coming down

To just one ball game,

And every mistake will be magnified,

And every great play will be magnified,

And it's a tough night for the players,

I'll tell ya.

I know last night, being in the same situation many times

With the great Yankee teams of the past,

you stay awake,

And you dream,

And you think of what might be,

If you are the hero or the goat.

 

October 14, 1976

AMERICAN LEAGUE EAST PLAYOFF

Final game

Kansas City at New York

Pregame show

 

Poem No. 61

Here comes Roger Maris

They're standing up.

Waiting to see if Roger

Is going to hit

Number sixty-one.

Here's the windup.

The pitch to Roger.

Way outside.

Ball one.

 

The fans are starting to boo.

Low...

Ball two.

That one was in the dirt.

And the boos get louder. Two balls no strikes

On Roger Maris...

 

Here's the windup.

Fastball

HIT DEEP TO RIGHT-

THIS COULD BE IT.

WAY BACK THERE.

HOLY COW.

 

HE DID IT.

SIXTY-ONE HOME RUNS.

 

They're fighting for the ball out there.

 

October 1, 1961, WPIX-TV

Boston at New York

Roger Maris batting against Tracy Stallard

Fourth inning, no score, bases empty

Final: Yankees 1, Red Sox 0

 

Prayer for the Captain

There's a little prayer I always say

Whenever I think of my family or when I'm flying,

When I'm afraid, and I am afraid of flying.

It's just a little one. You can say it no matter what,

Whether you're Catholic or Jewish or Protestant or

whatever.

And I've probably said it a thousand times

Since I heard the news on Thurman Munson.

 

It's not trying to be maudlin or anything.

His Eminence, Cardinal Cooke, is going to come out

And say a little prayer for Thurman Munson.

But this is just a little one I say time and time again,

It's just: Angel of God, Thurman's guardian dear,

To whom his love commits him here there or everywhere,

Ever this night and day be at his side,

To light and guard, to rule and guide.

 

For some reason it makes me feel like I'm talking to

Thurman,

Or whoever's name you put in there,

Whether it be my wife or any of my children, my parents

or anything.

It's just something to keep you really from going bananas.

Because if you let this,

If you keep thinking about what happened, and you can't

understand it,

That's what really drives you to despair.

 

Faith. You gotta have faith.

You know, they say time heals all wounds,

And I don't quite agree with that a hundred percent.

It gets you to cope with wounds.

You carry them the rest of your life.

 

August 3, 1979

Baltimore at New York

Pregame show

 

Reversal of Opinion

And he hits one in the hole

They're gonna have to hurry.

THEY'LL NEVER GET HIM!

They got him.

How do you like that.

Holy cow.

I changed my mind before he got there.

So that doesn't count as an error.

 

July 10, 1992

Seattle at New York

Dave Fleming pitching to Andy Stankiewicz

First inning, no outs, bases empty

Mariners lead 1-0