Bob Sheppard is arguably the most famous public address announcer who has ever lived.  Although he passed away four years ago at age 99, he has been a consistent presence at Yankees games thanks to Derek Jeter.

Sheppard was the voice of Yankee Stadium for 56 years.  After his retirement, the Yankee Captain asked to have Sheppard’s voice recorded so he could still introduce him in his trademark way.  Jeter was even introduced by Sheppard’s voice two days after his passing at the 2010 All-Star Game.

Now with Jeter retiring, Sheppard’s legendary voice will be retired with him.

Via the AP:

When Derek Jeter plays his final game at Yankee Stadium, Bob Sheppard will exit along with the New York Yankees captain.

Nicknamed “The Voice of God” for his stylish, elegant introductions, Sheppard was the ballpark’s public address announcer from April 1951 until September 2007. Before Sheppard took ill, Jeter asked Sheppard to record his introduction, which has been used when the Yankees captain walked to the plate for home games.

“He’s as important as any player that’s been here. He’s part of the experience,” Jeter said after Monday night’s win over the Baltimore Orioles. “Part of the experience of Yankee Stadium is Bob Sheppard’s voice.”

Sheppard debuted for the Yankees on April 17, 1951, and worked his final game on Sept. 5, 2007. He missed the 2007 AL division series because of a bronchial infection, ending his streak of 121 consecutive postseason games at Yankee Stadium. He was replaced by Jim Hall, his longtime sub, and Paul Olden took over when the Yankees moved to the new ballpark in 2009.

Sheppard’s voice has been used sparingly by the Yankees to welcome fans at the new Yankee Stadium, but that will cease after this season as well.  The last time Sheppard’s voice will be heard at Yankee Stadium will be for Derek Jeter’s final home at-bat.  It’s a fitting send-off not just for one of the great players in MLB history and one of the all-time greats to wear the pinstripes.  It’s also a fitting send-off for the voice that transcended almost all of the great Yankees – from Maris and Mantle to Rivera and Jeter.

[AP]

About Matt Yoder

Award winning sportswriter at The Comeback and Awful Announcing. The biggest cat in the whole wide world.

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