Bob Sheppard called out names and numbers for a living. Long before announcers used hyperbole to fill time during a ballgame, Sheppard simply followed an almost algebraic formula.
Number 7. Mickey Mantle. Number 7.
Sheppard announced more than 4,500 Major League Baseball games, split time between the Yankees and New York Football Giants for more than a half a century and has a plaque in Monument Park. Not even Joe Torre, who won a treasure trove of World Series titles, has one of those.
Number 5. Joe DiMaggio. Number 5.
He always would repeat the number twice. Always. It was just his thing, you know. Think of it as a plumber who twirls a plunger after he completes a job well done or a nutritionist who actually makes eating healthy foods relatively enjoyable. He did his job very, very well. Sheppard died on Sunday. Two days before George Steinbrenner passed away and a day before a Red Sox won the Home Run Derby. It’s been a bad week for Yankee fans.
Number 2. Derek Jeter. Number 2.
Yankee captain Derek Jeter requests a recording of Sheppard’s famous introduction every time he comes up to bat. They’ll play the same recording in the All-Star Game tonight in Anaheim.
I dare you not to tear up.