Sunday, July 11, 2010

RIP Bob Sheppard

Long time New York Yankee public address announcer Bob Sheppard has died. Roger Angell, who is, in my humble opinion, the best baseball writer on Earth, has written articles on Sheppard in The New Yorker (subscription required, sadly) and in his book "A Pitcher's Story", a moving tale of the late career struggles of former major leaguer David Cone. Sheppard has pronounced, in clear, careful diction, the names of all the greats, from Mickey Mantle and Joe DiMaggio right up to the present day.

Obviously, I have no truck with Yankee fandom of any sort, but sort of like with Ringo-attention must be paid. Another link with the past is severed.

From Angell's description of Sheppard's trip home after a Yankee game:

"They're in, they're out, a left turn up the street, where they grab a right, jumping onto the Deegan, heading home. The cops there have the eastbound traffic stopped dead, waiting for Bob Sheppard: no one else in New York is allowed to make this turn. Two minutes, maybe two-twenty, after the game has ended and they're gone, home free, the first of fifty thousand out of the building, every night."

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