The Oldest Living Baseball Hall of Famer: Phil Rizzuto


The National Baseball Hall of Fame is a shrine that honors the greatest players and contributors to the sport of baseball. It is a place of reverence for many, and for the lucky few that are inducted, it is an opportunity to etch their name in the annals of history. Among them, Phil Rizzuto, the oldest living baseball Hall of Famer.

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Early Life

Phil Rizzuto was born on September 25, 1917, in Brooklyn, New York. He was the son of a bricklayer and a homemaker, and grew up in the tough neighborhood of Brooklyn. He attended Richmond Hill High School and was a three-sport athlete, playing baseball, basketball, and football. Rizzuto was scouted by several major league teams, but he chose to sign with the New York Yankees in 1937.

Early Career

Rizzuto began his professional career in 1938 with the Yankees’ minor league affiliate, the Kansas City Blues. He played two seasons with the team and hit .307 in 1939. The next year, he was called up to the major leagues and made his debut on April 14, 1940. He played in 123 games that season, hitting .242 with two home runs and 39 RBIs. Over the next 14 seasons, Rizzuto would go on to become one of the Yankees’ most beloved players, playing in 9 All-Star Games and winning 7 World Series Championships with the team.

Hall of Fame Career

Rizzuto retired in 1956, finishing his career with a .273 batting average, 38 home runs, and 563 RBIs. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1994, becoming the first Hall of Famer to have spent his entire career with the Yankees. At the time of his induction, he was the oldest living Hall of Famer, a title he still holds.

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Rizzuto was beloved by Yankees fans for his enthusiasm and love of the game. After his retirement, he spent many years as a color commentator for the Yankees, providing commentary for some of the team’s most memorable moments. He was also well-known for his catchphrase “Holy Cow!”, which became a part of his signature on-air style. Even after his death in 2007, Rizzuto’s legacy lives on and he continues to be remembered as one of the greatest players in Yankees history.


Phil Rizzuto was a beloved player and contributor to the game of baseball. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1994, and at the time of his death in 2007, he was the oldest living Hall of Famer. His enthusiasm and love for the game are remembered by fans to this day, and he continues to be remembered as one of the greatest Yankees of all time.