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Bob Sheppard, The Voice of God: 1910-2010

Jul 11, 2010, 10:51 AM EDT

Buster Olney of reports that longtime Yankees public address announcer Bob Sheppard passed away this morning at his home in New York.  He was 99.

No matter your team affiliation, it’s easy to recognize greatness.  And Sheppard was great, in every sense of the word.  A great person, a great personality, and, boy, what a voice.  As Peter Gammons notes, Red Sox Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski once said:

“You’re not in the big leagues until Bob Sheppard announces your name.”

Sheppard officially retired from his post as the Yanks’ PA announcer in 2007, but his voice still resonates through the new Yankee Stadium and on the YES Network’s broadcasts.  In fact, shortstop Derek Jeter is still introduced by a voice recording of Sheppard to this day.  Sheppard took part in over 4,500 major league games in his 56-year career and Yankees legend Reggie Jackson famously dubbed him “The Voice of God.”

Sheppard will forever remain a part of the Yankees’ history and steps have been taken to maintain his legend far into the future.  This tribute video, run on “Bob Sheppard Day” in May of 2000, basically sums up the way he was embraced by athletes, managers and fans alike:

  1. ben s - Jul 11, 2010 at 11:27 AM

    He will be missed.
    R.I.P. Bob Sheppard

  2. YankeesfanLen - Jul 11, 2010 at 11:34 AM

    Thanks for the timely tribute, Bob Sheppard will always be in Yankees fans hearts. (Talk amongst yourselves)

  3. SDelMonte - Jul 11, 2010 at 11:39 AM

    Mr. Sheppard transcends local rivalry as much as anything else. This is a sad day for all New Yorkers, for Mets fans almost as much as for fans of the Yankees. Hearing his voice was a true delight. He was already missed at Yankee games and will be missed that much more.
    I bet Jeter does something dramatic in his first at bat at home Thursday.

  4. SouthofHeaven - Jul 11, 2010 at 12:19 PM

    The Yankees are silent forever.

  5. Old Gator - Jul 11, 2010 at 1:22 PM

    First time I ever attended a baseball game was at Yankee Stadiunm back in 1960 as a ten year old and Shepherd was there. The Yankees were as gifted with voices as they were on the field in those days – Shepherd at the Stadium and Mel Allen and Phil Rizzuto on the radio. All quiet now. I’m always a little dissatisfied when contemporaneous baseball announcers all sound so alike, inured to their all but interchangeable mass-market friendly glottal-stop vocal patterns, but I treasure the memories of a time when unique gifts trumped customer surveys and the stultification of mass marketing. Good job, Bob.

  6. Buccofan - Jul 11, 2010 at 3:28 PM

    He was a class act all the way and never a part of the Bronx Zoo that is often the Yankees. Rest well, Mr. Sheppard.

  7. Jason @ IIATMS - Jul 11, 2010 at 8:59 PM

    If a person’s voice could be described as “elegant”, that person could only be Bob Sheppard.
    Rest well, good man

  8. YANKEES1996 - Jul 12, 2010 at 9:17 AM

    It is with tremendous sadness that we say goodbye to Bob Sheppard. He was truly the “Golden Voice of my Childhood”, I can still hear his voice gently calling out the names of my childhood heroes and I still get goosebumps thinking of those days in the sun. When I became a father I took my sons to Yankee Stadium to see their first baseball games and they too were lucky enough to hear the “Voice of God” calling out the players names as they stepped into the batters box. Rest in peace Mr. Sheppard I cannot even begin to imagine how many lives your voice and your good grace enrichened.

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