Remembering Yankees Legend Bob Sheppard
ROBERT SIEGEL, Host:
For 56 years, this voice greeted fans of the New York Yankees.
M: Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to Yankee Stadium.
SIEGEL: Bob Sheppard was the voice of the stadium from 1951 until his retirement in 2007, from the end of Joe DiMaggio's day and the beginning of Mickey Mantle's, right up to the age of Derek Jeter and A-Rod. He died yesterday at the age of 99.
SIEGEL: the Voice of God.
Sheppard, who taught speech, even taught priests how to give sermons. In 1996, he gave us his view of announcing, on this program.
M: The public address announcer, in my book, is not a cheerleader, is not a circus barker, and is not an entertainer. The new breed of public-address announcers in the big leagues are very emotional and, I think, pro-home team.
You would never know that I was on one side or the other, and I think that impartiality should be maintained.
SIEGEL: Impartiality, yes. But according to Bob Sheppard, not all names were created equal.
M: Fernando Vina has a nice flow to it; Jose Valentin is nice. See, a name like Wade Boggs is not beautiful. The Yankees once had a guy named Mickey Klutts. You wouldn't rave about a name like Klutts.
SIEGEL: After Sheppard retired, his recording of one announcement lived on at Yankee Stadium.
(SOUNDBITE OF BASEBALL GAME)
(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE)
M: Number 2: Derek Jeter, Number 2.
SIEGEL: And at tomorrow's All-Star Game in Anaheim, the Voice of God will once again ring out each time Derek Jeter comes to bat. And the Yankee star says he will continue to use it for the years to come.