Days after Bob Sheppard, the voice of the New York Yankees, passed away, longtime Yankees owner George Steinbrenner has died of a heart attack. He was 80-years old. The most famous and controversial sports owner in America, Steinbrenner changed the way sports franchises operated and viewed free agency. He paved the way for sports teams to have their own networks and spread their brands on a global level. While he had numerous clashes with Major League Baseball, numerous players, and countless competitors in his decades-long run as Yankees owner, the one things he was always about was winning.
Above is a video of one of my favorite Yankees, Paul O’Neill, talking about the late George Steinbrenner.
Longtime New York Yankee public address announcer Bob Sheppard passed away today at 99. He was the voice of Yankee Stadium since 1951, announcing legends like Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra, and Phil Rizzuto. He announced games until 2007, introducing fans to current Yankee greats like Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera. Jeter still uses a recording of Sheppard’s voice for his at-bats.
While most stadium announcers for most sports use an in-your-face style, the Yankees stayed with Sheppard’s classic announcing for decades. He added a classy and dignified air to Yankee Stadium. I’ve attended dozens of games with Sheppard on the mic. I haven’t been back to New York for baseball season in years. It’s definitely going to be weird going to a Yankee game and not hearing his voice. I hope that Jeter will continue to use Sheppard for his at-bats. I definitely want to catch a game before he retires and to hear the “Voice of the Yankees” one more time.
There have been so many Yankee legends over the years and so many of them have been introduced by Bob Sheppard. He became such an integral part of Yankee games and Yankee history that he ended becoming a legend himself. Rest in peace Bob Sheppard. You will be missed.