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Bob Sheppard Dies

Yankees announcer Bob Sheppard smiles before he calls

Yankees announcer Bob Sheppard smiles before he calls the a game at the old Yankee Stadium. (April 21, 2006) Credit: Newsday file photo/Paul J. Bereswill

Bob Sheppard, the renowned Voice of Yankee Stadium whom Reggie Jackson once called "The voice of God" for his intonations as public address announcer, has died at home in Baldwin. He was 99.

He died peacefully, surrounded by family members, early this morning, said his youngest son, Chris.

Sheppard, a former college football quarterback and later a speech teacher at St. John's University, began doing the public address announcements for Yankee games in 1951--when Joe DiMaggio still was playing and Mickey Mantle was a rookie--and lasted well into the Derek Jeter era. Health issues caused him to stop coming to the Stadium, but Jeter still has a recording of Sheppard announcing him every time he comes to the plate.

Sheppard also was the voice for Giants football games at the Stadium and continued when they moved to the Meadowlands. He was also a longtime lector at mass at St. Christopher's Roman Catholic Church in Baldwin.

Viewing will be Tuesday and Wednesday at Fullerton Funeral Home in Baldwin and a funeral mass will be held Thursday, the younger Sheppard said. A spokesman for the funeral home said no arrangements have been finalized and it is not clear whether the family will want the wake open to the public.

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