(New York, NY) -- Even if you're not a Yankee fan you know the voice of Bob Sheppard. The familiar “Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to Yankee Stadium. ” rings in the hallows of baseball history for over half a century.
Today that familiar voice will be forever silent as Sheppard passed away at the age of 99.
The Queens native was the voice of the Yankees since 1951 and is one of the most well known voices in all of sports. Despite handing over the reins to Jim Hall in 2008 you can still hear Sheppard's voice every time Derek Jeter comes to bat.
Due to weakness, he was not present at the final game in the old Yankees stadium but did record the starting lineup that played at the game. The at bat introduction for Derek Jeter is still used to this day—a way of honoring the hall of fame announcer.
Sheppard is a New York legend and was also the voice of the New York Giants from 1956-2005. The consummate professional never used nicknames and spoke only with the distinct sound of a man that not only appreciated his craft but also the game.
He began his career as the announcer for his Alma mater, St. John's University, in the late 1940's and was also the voice of the AAFC's Brooklyn Dodgers before joining the Yankees in 1951.
Sheppard, a World War II veteran, was a Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy and served in the South Pacific from 1942-1945.
He is one of only three non-players to be honored in Monument Park and his memorial sits right next to his radio counterpart Mel Allen.
Whether your a Yankees fan or not you have to appreciate a man that gave his life to the game of baseball and the world of sports. Today baseball lost a legend.
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