As hard as this is for many to imagine, back in the 1980s the New York Yankees were one of the most pathetic franchises in professional sports.
The team was owned by a tyrannical loudmouth who seemed significantly more interested in making a buck (and back page headlines) than winning a championship. Managers came and went with staggering regularity and players were treated as pieces of meat, not actual human beings. At the same time
In other words, the Yanks were a mess --
Thank goodness for
When all was bleak at Yankee Stadium, when bushels of tickets could easily be had and the
"[He had] a voice that you hear in your dreams,"
Because we are still digging our way out of the festering pile of manure that was the
Or, think of it this way: I've probably covered, oh, 1,000 major league games in my career as a sportswriter. With the exception of Sheppard, I couldn't name another public address announcer. Not one.
As a kid growing up in New York in the '80s, I cherished trips to the stadium, often to revel in Sheppard tackling new and funky-sounding names. To hear him regally state, "Number 13,
In this age of look-at-me buffoonery, many in Sheppard's shoes surely seek to market and brand themselves. They have been gifted with great voices, and they strive to milk it for all they can.
Sheppard never did. He was, by all accounts, humble and decent, a proud St. John's grad who was active in his church and excessively giving with his time. Unlike James, who clearly likes referring to himself as "King," Sheppard never took the "voice of God" compliments to heart.
Which is why, in hindsight, they were so perfect.