By Special Guest Blogger Juan Lopez
Everybody knew it was coming, that it would be any day that Bob Sheppard would announce his retirement, but we kinda refused to "look that way," for we somehow expected to listen to his famous godly voice, at least until we all instead had passed away. Even Derek felt that way by having his name announced by a Sheppard recording during every home game. I guess Sheppard has meant so much since he started being the Yankee's Public Address Announcer in 1951, that he became part of what the Yankees have meant since.
You talk about the Yankees, be it Mantle, Maris, Berra, Jackson, Donnie, Murcer, Jeter, just to name a few, and besides the name Steinbrenner, you have to also mention his name. You can't have one without the other.Bob Sheppard is an old man these days, ill, but you can bet that if he could make a run at it once more, he would not hesitate. He simply physically, cannot do it. I bet that he would have given anything to have announced that last game last year at the Cathedral, and the Opening Day one at the Stadium this year. His heart, his spirit, were there, even if his body wasn't. I bet that also that he must have felt a tremendous thrill, much like George did, when the Yankees won the WS this past season.
Yes, it's been quite a ride for Bob Sheppard these last 57 years. His memories must be many, and I am sure that if he had to do it all over again, he would not think twice.To Bob, I personally want to wish him better health, more years of life, a few more Championships, and I don't know if there is such a thing as a HOF for Public Address Announcers, but if not, now is the time to start one. They have the Ford Frick Award for Baseball Broadcasters for "Major contributions to Baseball."
Bob Sheppard has done more than that for almost 60 years.God bless Bob Sheppard and thanks for being the "Voice of God," as you have come to be known. I am sure that Derek understands this and in your honor, would have nobody else to announce his name at the Stadium. It just wouldn't sound the same...