Bob Sheppard Misses First Yankee
Home Opener in
"Good evening, ladies and gentlemen and welcome to
It's really not quite a Yankee home game without Bob Sheppard. The
long time "public address voice of the Yankees" threw out his hip at
his Long Island home making him miss his first Yankee home opener
But he promises he will be back.
"I am very disappointed," said Sheppard who won't give his age and is
thought to be in his 90s. "I am optimistic that I will return to the
stadium for the next homestand."
It has been said: "Every kid growing up has dreamed of lining up at
Yankee Stadium and having Bob Sheppard announce his name." The New
York Yankees public address announcer has announced many names working
more than 4,000 games.
It began for Sheppard on April 17, 1951, Opening Day. The lineup that
Jackie Jensen lf
Phil Rizzuto ss
Mickey Mantle rf
Joe DiMaggio cf
Yogi Berra c
Johnny Mize 1b
Billy Johnson 3b
Jerry Coleman 2b
Vic Raschi p
Favorite Yankee moments for the former St. John's quarterback and
first baseman who works in the sound-proofed little glass both
include: Larsen's Perfect Game, Maris hitting 61 home runs, Reggie's
three home runs against the Dodgers and Mantle's shot almost over the
Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle make Sheppard's all time favorite list.
"DiMaggio's name was symbolic of the early Yankees," Sheppard said,
"and "Mickey Mantle has a nice ring to it because the two 'Ms' make it
alliterative. "I just loved announcing his name. And one day, shortly
before he died, we were both being interviewed on a television
program. All of a sudden, he turned to me and said - right there on
the air - that every time he heard me announce his name, he got goose
bumps. And I felt the same way about announcing him."
Hundreds of eulogies have been written and delivered by Sheppard.
"They ask me to do a eulogy. I try to tailor my remarks to the person
I am eulogizing. Thurman Munson, Dick Howser, Billy Martin. Mickey
Mantle's seemed to strike a cord because he died the night before."
Reggie Jackson pointed out that Sheppard's voice sounds like "the
voice of God" as it reverberates through Yankee Stadium. Clay
Bellinger made the point that "the first time I heard it, it was my
realization of making the big leagues after 10 years in the minor
leagues. Just think of all the people he's announced."
"There are three things that are perfectly Yankee - the pinstripes,
the logo and Bob Sheppard's voice," comedian Billy Crystal said. "When
to go to heaven, I want Bob Sheppard to announce me."
# # #
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About the Author:
Harvey Frommer is in his 38th year of writing books.
A noted oral historian and sports journalist, the author of 42 sports
books including the classics: "New York City Baseball,1947-1957" and
"Shoeless Joe and Ragtime Baseball," his acclaimed REMEMBERING YANKEE
STADIUM was published in 2008 and his REMEMBERING FENWAY PARK: AN ORAL
AND NARRATIVE HISTORY OF THE HOME OF RED SOX NATION was published to
acclaim in 2011. The prolific Frommer is at work on When It Was
Just a Game, An Oral History on Super Bowel One.
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