Yankees' announcer Bob Sheppard dies

THE SPORTS NETWORK

, Last Updated: 5:29 PM ET

BRONX, NY - Longtime New York Yankees public address announcer Bob Sheppard died Sunday. He was 99 years old.

The Yankees said Sheppard died at his home on Long Island with his wife, Mary, at his side.

Sheppard officially announced his retirement last November, but had not worked since 2007.

Dubbed the "Voice of Yankee Stadium" for his baritone vocals and clear, concise style, Sheppard debuted as the Yankees' PA announcer on April 17, 1951 -- the opening day of Joe DiMaggio's final season and the first game of Mickey Mantle's career -- and served in that role for about 4,500 games. His last game was September 5, 2007 before a bronchial infection forced him to relinquish his duties.

"I am deeply saddened by the death today of Bob Sheppard, a good friend and fine man whose voice set the gold standard for America�s sports announcers," said Yankees owner George Steinbrenner III. "For over a half century, fans were thrilled to hear his unforgettable voice and players were thrilled to hear his majestic enunciation of their names. Bob Sheppard was a great member of the Yankees family and his death leaves a lasting silence. My thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Mary, and their family."

Despite his absence, Sheppard's voice has still been heard at Yankee Stadium. At the request of Derek Jeter, a recording of Sheppard introducing the Yankee shortstop has been played prior to each of his at-bats.

Sheppard also worked as the PA announcer for the NFL's New York Giants for 50 seasons from 1956 through 2005.


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