Monday, July 12, 2010

Baker remembers Yankees' Sheppard - by David Murphy

Baker remembers Yankees' Sheppard

Soon after Dan Baker was named the Phillies' public-address announcer in 1972, he travelled to Yankee Stadium to observe one of the All-Stars in his field. Yankees P.A. announcer Bob Sheppard was entering his third decade in the booth, where he would remain until 2007, and was widely considered to be the dean of his profession.
Yesterday, after hearing that Sheppard had passed away at the age of 99, Baker reflected on the lessons he learned from the well-regarded veteran.
"He was the consummate professional," said Baker, who is in his 39th season as the Phillies' P.A. announcer. "He was the perfect elocutionist. He set the standard, to me, for the industry."
Sheppard, a gentle man who spoke with the sonorous authority of a giant, died at his Long Island home with his wife, Mary, at his side, the Yankees said.
Sheppard started with the Yankees in April 1951 and worked his last game in September 2007, when he became ill.
His welcoming statement, "Good afternoon, ladies and gentleman, and welcome to Yankee Stadium," was known throughout baseball.
He announced 62 World Series games and a pair of All-Star Games, and introduced more than 70 Hall of Famers. It was Reggie Jackson who dubbed Sheppard "The Voice of God." *
- David Murphy
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