Over the past two days, hundreds of people – including many wearing Yankees gear – have reportedly shown up at the wake for Bob Sheppard. Today, he will be laid to rest.
The funeral for Sheppard, who died Sunday at the age of 99, will be at 10:45 a.m. at St. Christopher’s Church in Baldwin, N.Y. When I spoke to Brian Cashman yesterday, he said he didn’t know the specifics of any tributes the Yankees would do for Sheppard (or George Steinbrenner) at tomorrow night’s game but said he expected there would, obviously, be something.
Like many writers who spent a lot of time around the team over this past decade or so, most of my interactions with Mr. Sheppard were when he buzzed past me on the way to the elevator right as a game ended. I’m sure you’ve heard the stories from others by now, but seeing him wait at the back of the press box as a would-be final out was at the plate was endearing; as soon as the last out was made, he’d tuck his book under his arm (he would read between announcing hitters) and then zoom towards the elevator so he could be downstairs, in the car and on the way home before the traffic snarled. Even when he was in his 90s you didn’t want to be in his way.
The few times we spoke – I remember interviewing him at least once – he was kind, warm, cordial and exactly as he sounded on the job. He was, quite simply, a class act. He will be missed.