Sunday, July 11, 2010

"Clear, Concise and Correct"

To be "Clear, Concise and Correct" is what Bob Sheppard set out to be every game behind the PA microphone at Yankee Stadium since 1951. 

If I had to describe it, his voice was the color Blue; so soothing, so calming and reassuring.  It didn't pierce you or overwhelm you.  His voice passed by like a cool summer breeze.  The more Baseball changed around me throughout the years, the more he stayed the same.  He kept me, Baseball and my frame of mind in a different place; a place less complicated than today's game.  The greatness with which he performed his craft was not imparted to me like an heirloom.  I learned Bob Sheppard.  I grew with the Bob Sheppard style.  I learned as a young Baseball fan it was Bob Sheppard who set the standard.  Visiting different parks through the years and listening to the different announcers, I can remember so many times saying to myself, "That's not Bob Sheppard".

Who didn't feel a sense of guilt when he addressed unruly fan behavior over the PA?  Who wanted to get out of line after that?  Who willfully disrespects their grandfather whom they love so much?  The voice from the sky was speaking to you and you listened attentively.  His voice, tone and demeanor commanded it.

As a native New Yorker, he's one of those thing where, it's all I've ever known.  For 40+ years of my life he is as responsible as anyone for painting the beautiful picture I have of Baseball.

He's the voice of a different crowd now.  Be well my friend.  Rest in Peace.


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