Clear. Concise. Correct.
Bob Sheppard, the long time public address announcer for the New York Yankees, has passed away at the age of 99. His voice is one of my strongest baseball memories from my youth.
Bob Sheppard had been the Yankees public address announcer since 1951. His first game, on April 17, 1951, was also the debut of my boyhood idol, Mickey Mantle, who claimed to get shivers every time Bob Sheppard announced, “Playing Centerfield, #7, Mickey Mantle, #7. His first year was also the last for Yankee great Joe DiMaggio.
Bob Sheppard had a 56-year run as the Yankees P.A. announcer and his last game was in September of the 2007 Yankees season. He was too ill to appear in the closing of the old Stadium or the opening of the new Yankee Stadium. His style was one of precise enunciation, and he was the antithesis of flamboyance. His grace was one of the many things that have made the Yankees an extraordinary franchise. There is already a plaque for him in Monument Park at Yankee Stadium.
Bob Sheppard also had a “second job” which only lasted 50 years, as P.A. announcer for the football Giants from 1956 to 2006. Alas, his words “Unitas to Berry, first down” are words also etched in football history and the minds of the Giants fans who attended the famous overtime 1958 NFL Championship game, “The Greatest Game Ever Played”, between the Giants and Colts at Yankee Stadium.
In his field he was the best that ever was, and Yankees fans and Giants fans will miss him. But as all Yankees fans know, one player has continued to use a recorded Bob Sheppard announcement:
#2, Derek Jeter, #2.