That's right, I'm a Mets fan and I'm writing an article to salute Bob Sheppard and George Steinbrenner.
For a true Met fan, you can't stand George Steinbrenner and his Yankees. You hate how they win, you hate the arrogance, you hate how they buy and get whatever they want.
But I'm not writing this article to express how I feel, or how Mets fans feel about the philosophy of the Yankees. As a baseball fan, you have to acknowledge what the man did for the sport of baseball.
Not everything George Steinbrenner did was great for baseball: he was suspended a couple years; he fired and rehired managers like Billy Martin; but whether good or bad, he had an impact on the game...a great one.
Despite what outsiders, like myself, could only see, those who know him speak highly of him. They say how he was caring, generous, and a great humanitarian.
George Steinbrenner took the sport of baseball and the business of the game to a whole new level.
I kind of cringe writing this next line because it can be argued, but some would say that George Steinbrenner's impact was almost like Babe Ruth's impact when he helped restore baseball after the "Black Sox" scandal.
He helped bring the greatest franchise back to greatness, and he took the publicity of the game and how it is marketed to unthinkable levels, and one of the main examples of that is the YES network.
Many teams and many owners from all sports have tried to mimic his brilliance. So whether you love him or hate him, whether you are a Yankee fan or a Met fan, you have to acknowledge what he did.
His character was extremely colorful and probably that alone could have impacted the game. I laugh at many of the stories I hear about some of his acts of lunacy because to me, it's fun for the game, but when I hear those good stories about how generous he was, I'm left in awe.
Since yesterday, you have seen all over the television and heard on the radio so many stories of the man; many good, many not so good.
The questions that will arise right now are what will happen with the Yankees? And, should "The Boss" be in Cooperstown?
As for Bob Sheppard, there's not too much you can really say because he wasn't really a public figure. You really only know him as "The Voice of God" (as Reggie Jackson referred to it).
As a Mets fan, I've been to many Yankee games and I always remember hearing Bob Sheppard welcoming everyone to Yankee stadium, and calling the players as they walked to the plate. His voice is more familiar to me than the guy who does the Met games. Going to a Yankee game, especially when the old ballpark was open (I never been to the new park), but knowing the history of that park, knowing the history of the team, hearing that voice, it definitely left you in awe of the history.
I was saddened to hear of his passing, and sad to hear of the passing of George Steinbrenner. Baseball lost two great men.