In lieu of our usual attempt at witty commentary on the state of the Mets, Studious Metsimus would like to step aside to talk about something that has affected not only the Yankee community, but all of baseball as well.
With sadness in our hearts, we regret to inform you that legendary public address announcer Bob Sheppard passed away this morning at the age of 99.
The man who Reggie Jackson dubbed "The Voice of God" served as public address announcer for the Yankees from April 17, 1951 (Yankees vs. Red Sox) until the end of the 2007 season, when deteriorating health forced him to move away from the microphone.
Mr. Sheppard also served as the public address announcer for the New York Giants football team from 1956 to 2006.
Mr. Sheppard was a true New Yorker, born and raised in Mets country, Queens. In 1932, he graduated as president of his class at St. John's University (which is also the alma mater of this Studious Metsimus blogger). He later went on to teach speech at St. John's, although I never had the honor to take his course.
As a person who was far more comfortable with the written word than the spoken word (hence why I'm a blogger), I eschewed speech for other courses until I was forced to take it during my senior year. Mr. Sheppard was not teaching a speech course at a time I could take it during my senior year.
Although Mr. Sheppard always claimed that his work as a professor of speech was much more important than his work as an announcer, his legacy will always be as "The Voice of God", the man behind the microphone at Yankee Stadium and Giants Stadium.
His legend is so great that the Yankees have a plaque dedicated to Mr. Sheppard in Yankee Stadium's Monument Park, an area usually reserved for the great athletes who wore the Yankee pinstripes.
Both of the stadiums that were home to Mr. Sheppard are no longer with us. Now the man whose voice reverberated through those hallowed halls has left us as well. Rest in peace, Mr. Sheppard. Although your stay on this Earth was only temporary, your voice is everlasting and will be heard and recognized throughout eternity.