Robert Leo Sheppard
(The Voice of God)
- School St. John's University
The long-time public address announcer of the New York Yankees, Bob Sheppard is the most famous PA voice in sports history. His slow, deep cadence rang out from "Now batting for the Yankees, number five, Joe DiMaggio" to "Now batting for the Yankees, number two, Derek Jeter."
He was New York through and through having graduated from St. John's University in the class of 1932. At St. John's, he spent four years on the football team and also was the first baseman for the baseball squad.
He joined the Yankees in DiMaggio's last year, on April 17, 1951. He was at the microphone high above Yankee Stadium for over half a century. He has announced thousands of players over more than 4000 games. Of course being the announcer for the Yankees, meant Sheppard was the PA announcer for dozens of World Series games. He has worked twenty World Series in all. He has also been the public address announcer for the New York Football Giants, a position he has held from 1956 to 2005.
Since announcing is a part-time, seasonal job, 81 games a year plus the postseason, Sheppard also taught speech at St. John's for 25 years.
During his winter stay in Florida, Sheppard often read at daily Mass. He was often approached after Mass by fans who say, "you sound like the guy at Yankee Stadium..." He then stopped them and confirms he is the voice of Yankee Stadium.
Sheppard kept his age a guarded secret through the years but the combination of his college graduation (1932), his 1910 birthdate given on imdb.com seems plausible.
His last season of regular work was 2007; he officially retired in 2009. He passed away a year later, but Derek Jeter insisted that a recording of his voice continue to be used to introduce his at-bats.