Bill White on Sportscasting: 'Those were my favorite years'

By Alex Weprin 

Former Major League Baseball player and Yankees sportscaster Bill White has a new memoir out, and our sister blog FishbowlNY spoke to him about his career on the field and in the press box:

White, 77, would go on to become National League president in 1989. But he keeps a special place in his heart for the WPIX broadcast booth.

“Those were my favorite years,” White jokes. “I didn’t have to hit curveballs.”

All White had to do was come to the stadium every day and work with Rizzuto. It wouldn’t seem like it, but a dream broadcast partnership was created.

“We had fun,” White recalls. “The good part [is] none of it was planned at all, it just came up.”

But their first on-air appearance didn’t go quite as memorably – at least for White.

It was a spring training game in 1971. With Frank Messer (third member of the broadcast team) headed down to the field, Rizzuto would “introduce” White to Yankee fans. After chatting briefly about his previous sportscasting work (in Philadelphia), Joe DiMaggio arrived in the booth. Here’s how White described what happened next in Uppity.

“Holy cow!” Rizzuto said on the air. “There’s the Yankee Clipper.” Rizzuto leaned over to White whispering off-air, “Hey, White, take the mike, I gotta set up a golf game with DiMaggio.”

Read the entire interview at FishbowlNY, here.