Anyone that has spent any time around the Yankees over the past half-century or so has a story about talking with Bob Sheppard. I spoke with him several times – for a story or two, of course, but also in the elevator at the Stadium or around the press box – and enjoyed it every time. I just marveled at his deliberation – he seemed to savor every moment, every word, every thought. At a time in my life when things often felt like they were speeding by (shoot, I still feel that way) I was envious of his ability to slow life down to a most elegant pace.
Mostly, I just liked listening to him. In the media dining room at the old Yankee Stadium there used to be a table in the corner that had a paper sign on it that let everyone know it was reserved for Mr. Sheppard. Sitting at one of the tables nearby was a treat because it meant you got to hear “The Voice of God” say things like, “The … carving board …. is … delicious … today. … Thank you.”
Mr. Sheppard doesn’t like to talk about exactly how old he is – and yes, I know there are people out there who have reported it – so out of respect to him, let’s just say: “Happy …. Birthday …. Mr. Sheppard … From … the LoHud … blog. … LoHud Blog.”
UPDATE, 5:48 p.m.: Your attention please … ladies and gentlemen. I am told by a close family friend of the Sheppards that despite numerous reports and web pages which list Mr. Sheppard’s birthday as Oct. 12, it is in fact Oct. 20.
To show my contrition, I am posting the audio of what is believed to be one of Sheppard’s finest moments at the microphone. Have a listen.