Jim Baumbach visited Bob Sheppard at his Baldwin home Saturday and watched him at work.

At least Baumbach was invited (I assume), unlike when I was so bold as to call Mr. Sheppard at home on Thanksgiving to ask him whether he officially had retired.

It was at that time he confirmed he is 99, the first time in decades he had specified his age to a journalist.

Let's hope he agrees to be honored at the new Stadium this summer in advance of his 100th birthday in October.

Speaking of Baumbach, I remember him when he was a hard-working lad in Newsday.com's sports department back in 2000 and had to beg me to write a few paragraphs for the Web site every Monday highlighting Jim Fassel's address to reporters.

I whined mightily, arguing that if I were to be required to write material beyond what appeared in the newspaper, I should be compensated for it.

Those were quaint, long-ago days, indeed.

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Photo: Newsday/Paul J. Bereswill