Being from New York and having attended well over 200 Yankee games in my lifetime, I know the beauty and grace of the voice known as Bob Sheppard. In a world where the PA Announcers will yell and scream to get your attention, Bob Sheppard used to say so much with many few words. Baseball players would stop in their tracks when they heard their name spoken by Bob Sheppard. As you may know, Mr. Sheppard passed away at his home in Baldwin, New York about 15 miles from my home. Although he has not been at Yankee games for over two years, his voice has been truly missed and now that it has been forever silenced, we will never be graced with the dignity, poise and grace of the standard of all Public Address Announcers, Bob Sheppard. To honor his way, this week’s Top 5 Remembers Bob Sheppard.
1. As the Public Address Announcer of the New York Yankees, he called the names of 8 Yankee players that entered the Hall of Fame as Yankees: Joe DiMaggio, Casey Stengel, Yogi Berra, Whitey Ford, Mickey Mantle, Reggie Jackson, Phil Rizzuto and Goose Gossage. There are also 8 other former Yankees that Sheppard called the names of as Yankees that entered the Hall of Fame as non-Yankees. In addition, there at least three future Hall of Famers called by Sheppard as Yankees: Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Alex Rodriguez.
2. As the Public Address Announcer of the New York Yankees, he called 13 World Championships and 22 American league Championships. He announced around 4,500 games with the Yankees.
3. As the Public Address Announcer of the New York Giants, he called the names of 14 Giants Hall of Famers: Y.A. Tittle, Emlen Tunnel, Andy Robustelli, Hugh McElhenny, Frank Gifford, Rosey Brown, Vince Lombardi, Tim Mara (team owner), Sam Huff, Don Maynard, Fran Tarkenton, Larry Csonka, Harry Carson and Lawrence Taylor. He announced about 400 games for the New York Giants. He never had a contract with the Giants; he had a handshake agreement with the team’s owners.
4. He went to St. John’s University. He was the starting first baseman for three years and was the starting quarterback for all four years he attended school. He was a Public Address Announcer for St. John’s Basketball and Football.
5. His first game with the Yankees was in 1951, the same day that Mickey Mantle debuted. That game included eight future Hall of Famers, including Red Sox players Ted Williams, Bobby Doerr and Lou Boudreau.
Other notes about Bob Sheppard:
He always felt that Public Address Announcers should be “clear, concise and correct.”
He would read a book between batters and between innings.
He received a plaque in Yankee Stadium Monument Park on May 7, 2000 and his microphone is at the Baseball Hall of Fame.
One of his favorite names of all-time was Japanese pitcher Shigetoshi Hasegawa.
He was not perfect. In October 1976, he announced “Welcome to Yankee Stadium” during the first game ever for the New York Giants at the Meadowlands.
Reggie Jackson calls his voice, “The Voice of God”.
Until Derek Jeter retires, Sheppard’s voice will be heard introducing Jeter as he hits for the Yankees, “Now batting for the Yankees, Number 2, Derek Jeter. Number 2″.
That is all for this week, see you all in seven days.
Tags: Alex Rodriguez, Baseball, Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, New York Giants, New York Yankees