Results tagged ‘ Bob Sheppard ’

Yankees to pay tribute to Steinbrenner, Sheppard Friday

The Yankees will pay tribute to the late George M. Steinbrenner III and Bob Sheppard prior to Friday night’s game against the Rays, the team announced Thursday.
The pregame ceremony will include a video tribute to Steinbrenner, who passed away at age 80 on Tuesday morning, as well as moments of silence for The Boss and Sheppard. Additional ceremonies will also take place during Old-Timers’ Day on Saturday.
During Friday’s ceremony, a wreath will be placed in front of Steinbrenner’s statue in the Gate 2 Executive Lobby of Yankee Stadium, and another will be placed in front of Sheppard’s plaque in Monument Park. United States Army Sergeant First Class Mary Kay Messenger will sing the National Anthem, and the West Point Color Guard will present the colors.
The game starts at 7:05 p.m. ET, but the team encourages fans to be at their seats by 6:45.

Yankees to wear commemorative patches to honor George M. Steinbrenner and Bob Sheppard

The Yankees will wear uniform patches to honor the lives of George M. Steinbrenner and Bob Sheppard for the remainder of the 2010 season, beginning with Friday’s game vs. Tampa Bay at Yankee Stadium.

The Steinbrenner commemorative patch will be worn above the interlocking NY on the left breast of the Yankees’ home jerseys, and above the letters ‘YORK’ on the left breast of the Yankees’ road uniforms. Both locations are over the heart.
The Sheppard commemorative patch will be worn on the left sleeve of the Yankees’ home and road jerseys. At tonight’s Major League Baseball All-Star Game in Anaheim, all Yankees uniforms were affixed with black armbands on their left sleeves in honor of Steinbrenner’s passing.
GMS Memorial Patch.jpgSheppard Memorial Patch.jpg

Giving thanks for Bob Sheppard

I was sitting at a picnic table near Pensacola, Florida, of all places, when Bob Sheppard’s unmistakable voice came through my cell phone: “Good morning, Bryan. I heard you wanted to speak with me.”
It was the day before Thanksgiving last year, and I had been assigned to get in touch with Sheppard and ask for his thoughts and reflections on the holiday – in a sense, giving thanks for his 99 years. It was an interesting assignment, and when I found out that Sheppard was willing to offer me a few minutes, I was very excited about the interview.
We rescheduled it once that morning, as Sheppard’s wife, Mary, told me that he was about to have his breakfast. I certainly wouldn’t have wanted to get in the way of that, so we pushed our chat back an hour, which is why I was at that picnic table near my brother’s house when the phone rang again.
That story wound up making news across the country because Sheppard told me he had no plans to return to his post as the Yankees’ public address announcer, but that was not the intention of the story. In fact, we didn’t even get to that topic until six and a half minutes into our 16-minute chat, when I asked him if he was still planning to make it out to try the public address announcer’s booth at the new Yankee Stadium in 2010.
“I doubt it, very, very much,” Sheppard said that day. “I think Paul Olden will be there as long as he is satisfying the Yankees, and as long as he is satisfied with what they’re giving him, to do the job that I did for 55 years or so. But I have no plans of coming back.”
Listening back to the audio this morning as I sit here at an airport gate in Seattle, I can hear my surprise in a brief pause. I recovered and asked him if he was at peace with that.
“I would say yes. I would say yes,” he said. “I mean, time has passed me by, I think. I had a good run for it. I enjoyed doing what I did. I don’t think, at my age, I’m going to suddenly regain the stamina that is really needed if you do the job and do it well. You know, it isn’t a two-hour job. 
“Leaving my home on Long Island at 4 o’clock in the afternoon for a night game, getting up there at 5 or 5:30, having a quick dinner, finishing up, getting home approximately midnight out to Long Island and driving through the traffic and getting out of the parking lot. 
“One reason I quit the football Giants after 50 years was because it was a long day in East Rutherford to come back to Long Island. So it’s not just the two hours or three hours of baseball. It’s the trip, the preparation, the trip home, and a long, long day. 
“I think, at my age, it’s time to accept the fact that I had a great run. A great run. And only made a few mistakes along the way. Some of them were embarrassing. It happens in your work too, I’m sure.”
I agreed with him, offering a chuckle, and then moved on to another topic. I’d asked Reggie Jackson for his thoughts on Sheppard that week, and he called Sheppard “one of the most wonderful men” he’d ever met. I asked Sheppard if that embarrassed him in any way, and how he viewed the legacy he’d left.
“I love it,” Sheppard said, laughing. “I tell you, I don’t get too many accolades, really. I was a quiet kind of guy that didn’t get a lot of publicity. If it came, it came free of charge, unexpected. I think the greatest compliment I’ve ever received was Derek Jeter (he said it, ‘De-rek Jee-tah’) asking Mike Bonner – who’s in charge of sound and sight – always to play my introduction of Derek Jeter coming up to bat. 
“As long as he plays with the Yankees, he wants my voice announcing his at-bat when he comes up. I didn’t know this until Mike Bonner asked me, would I object to having him do that? Of course not. It’s a compliment. I think it might be one of the finest compliments I have ever received, that he wants my voice introducing him.”
Sheppard was also funny that day, quick with his wit. Talking about his health and his weight fluctuations, he stunned me briefly by asking, “Now I have a question for you, Bryan. How much do you weigh?” 
The last question I had for him was if he had any words of advice for people who hoped to lead long and full lives the way he had. He paused and sighed, “That’s a tough question.”
“I try to get to Mass every day. Every day. Sundays, Mondays, Tuesdays and so on. I pray. I thank God for giving me 99 years. 99 years. Wow. Can you envision that? I don’t want to know how old you are, but if you dream of living long, I would recommend it to you.”
In the moments after we ended our chat, I can remember walking back into the house, knowing that I would save the audio recording forever. I might have been in Florida, but if I closed my eyes during that conversation, it was summer at the old Yankee Stadium, and ‘The Voice of God’ had just spent part of his day speaking directly to me. It was a thrill, and I still treasure the last words he said to me:
“It was nice talking to you. Bryan, the best of everything to you, and God bless.”

Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen

microphone.jpgThis was one of the most entertaining e-mails I’ve received in a long time. There’s a  fan out there, Chris Pavia, who has captured the essence of Bob Sheppard and the late Eddie Layton with terrific impersonations of both.

From the YouTube page: “Listen as Chris takes you back in time sitting in your seat 45 minutes before the game and listening to the sounds of Eddie Layton and Bob Sheppard.”

He uses his own voice for Sheppard and the same type of organ, two keyboards and drum machine that Layton used at Yankee Stadium from the mid-1980s through 2003.

Chris is definitely talented – I can taste the hot dogs already. But don’t take my word for it. Turn up your volume and you be the judge and jury. What do you think?

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