Bob Sheppard was a professional Baseball announcer who was the first to introduce the play-by-play when he was hired by the New York Yankees in the 1950s. He worked with the team for over 30 years and had a long career in radio. He was part of many TV shows and movies playing himself in addition to his professional career with baseball. Here is what you need to know about Mr. Sheppard and his career.
A Brief Intro
Bob Sheppard’s first major role came when he was one of the creators for the Radio City Music Hall in 1932. He later acted as director and producer of the show while still under contract with the bandleader at the time. His most famous musical work was his collaboration with the Benny Goodman Orchestra in 1938 on their song “Sing for Your Supper.” He composed and arranged the song and wrote the text. This was followed by another song, “The Song Begins” with Benny Goodman, Jimmy Dorsey, Charlie Barnet and Tommy Dorsey.
Bob Sheppard was the first Yankees announcer who said “Foul ball!” as a pitch was clearly in the dirt. He did this in the 1950 World Series and it is still used today. Many people claim Bob was the first to call a home run as he did so in the 1951 World Series, but he didn’t call all home runs from then on even though he was the Yankees’ announcer for decades.
Hall of Fame First Game
It was the first game at Fenway Park for the New York Yankees when Mr. Sheppard, the new stadium announcer, came over the PA system and introduced several Hall of Famers on Yankee stadium. The three Red Sox who were there were Bobby Doerr, Ted Williams, and Lou Boudreau. Sheppard said that the Red Sox had the best players there, and the Yankees had great fans.
The Sports Announcers Style
If it were not for Bob’s distinctive Yankee Stadium style, the public may not know that Yankee Stadium was, in fact, the first baseball stadium to have public address systems.
[Interview]: I have my own unique style. I’m not a natural-born leader or captain of a team, so it has been a challenge for me to learn how to play this role.
After playing in a few of these, he realized that almost every batter was the same and was able to shorten the intro and the number of times he’d have to repeat the name of the batter.
Bob would come to the dugout after every inning, whether the game was over or not. He’d ask if anyone had a bat that wasn’t in the box, and if so, he’d take it and use it for the next batter.
His Attention to Detail
Mickey Mantle was a baseball legend and the greatest player to ever play the game. Bob Sheppard would pronounce his name as “Mike-key Mantle” at the beginning of every game and at the end of the game. He would continue to say “Mantle” whenever he needed to say somebody’s name. Salomé Barojas of the San Francisco Giants and Álvaro Espinoza of the Atlanta Braves were two players Bob Sheppard could easily pronounce and would do so at the start and at the end of every game.
Casual Mistakes as an Announcer
When Jorge Posada first came to the Yankees in 1995, he was introduced as Jorge Posado. After all, he said he was from ‘Jorge Posado’ and that was what fans wanted to hear.
“So I’m gonna sign with the Yankees, and the Yankees are gonna call me Jorge Posada.”
Jorge’s name is pronounced “Sodi” and the O at the end is a reference to his last name. In fact, the first time I met him, I asked him if he was named after a Mexican restaurant. He laughed and made a joke about how it was his “Jorge Posadito” when we were together at a Yankees game.
Jorge played shortstop for the Yankees from 1995-2001, and in 2002 and 2003, he played third base before coming back to short for the 2004-2009 seasons. He was a member of the Yankees from 1995 to 2013.
His Favorite Moments
The “Voice of the Yankees”, Bob Sheppard has enjoyed over 50 years of broadcasting. The Yankees are the only sports team from New York with a different name to the city and the fans. He has become a part of the history of the Yankees. Bob Sheppard is one of the best sports broadcasters as well as the most popular sports reporters. Not only that, but he has been the official announcer for some of the greatest home runs in the history of baseball.
Movies and Other Media
Bob Sheppard was a part of a lot of television shows and other media over his years. His most famous work outside of baseball came in the TV show Seinfeld, where he was the stadium announcer in 1994 in an episode. Another TV show that Bob was part of was Mad About You, which came out in 1994.
Death of a Legend
Jim Hall’s time with the Yankees was very short-lived. After one game as an interim PA announcer while the Yankees tried to find a full-time replacement for Bob Sheppard, the Yankees fired him and hired Bob to be the official PA announcer.
Hall of Fame Legacy
When the Yankees won their first World Series victory in 2011, Bob Sheppard was chosen to throw out the first pitch. He made the first pitch to Ichiro Suzuki and had fun tossing the ball to Ichiro and giving him a hug afterwards.
Mr. Sheppard is a very kind and compassionate person, and has the ability to make other people feel comfortable in an uncomfortable situation. He is a well-liked individual around the world, and he is known for his sense of humor. He is very smart, and likes to have fun and enjoy life. He is also a good listener and is always understanding of what other people are going through.
His Legacy Continues
So many Yankee fans were upset that he didn’t do the same. Derek Jeter made the decision to retire after the 2014 season knowing that there would be no more Yankee Stadium introductions at home plate.
After “Enter the Sandman” was sung, you could hear “No-hito the Sandman, the Sandman had a dream…” During the recording, when Rivera took the mound, it played the opening of the song. During the last out song, “Sweet Caroline,” the song ended in the middle of the song.
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