Last night the Yankees played for first time since the passing of George Steinbrenner. It was an emotional night filled with touching tributes, but as we know, the greatest tribute to the Boss would have been to win. And the Yankees did just that, and in dramatic fashion might I add. The entire night the Yankees battled behind CC Sabathia, who only allowed 3 earned runs despite not being on top of his game. Going into the bottom of the ninth inning the score was tied at four and Yankees were looking to finish off the Rays. Curtis Granderson led off the inning with a single and was moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Ramiro Pena. Following a walk by Brett Gardner and a strikeout of Derek Jeter, Nick Swisher came up to the plate. On the fourth pitch of Swisher’s at bat he lined a single to right field and Curtis Granderson came home to score the winning run. Start spreading the news, it’s time for pie. Nick Swisher sent the loyal Yankee fans home happy on an emotional evening, and somewhere up in heaven George Steinbrenner and Bob Sheppard were smiling.
Just two days ago legendary Yankee public address announcer, Bob Sheppard, passed away at age 99, legendary Yankee owner, George M. Steinbrenner passed away at age 80 after suffering a heart attack.
Bob Sheppard served as the Yankees public address announcer from 1951 until 2007 when he made his last trip to Yankee Stadium. Throughout his storied career Sheppard has introduced the likes of Mickey Mantle and Yogi Berra to Bernie Williams and Derek Jeter. Bob Sheppard will forever be remembered as the irreplaceable Voice of the Yankees. He will continue to be heard off a pre-recorded tape at Yankee Stadium every time Derek Jeter comes to bat, and his unforgettable voice will always be in our heads along with his great legacy.
Just two days after Sheppard’s passing the most influential man in the history of sports has passed away this morning. George Steinbrenner had been in declining health the past few years and this morning he died in a Florida hospital after suffering a heart attack. Without Steinbrenner the Yankees would most certainly not be where they are today at the top of the sports world. When Steinbrenner purchased the Yankees in 1973 they were a struggling team, who in all honesty, were not very likable. Steinbrenner expanded the Yankees into a world icon and won seven championships along the way. Steinbrenner was famous for his tirades and emotional outbursts but he was also a loyal, kind, and generous man. In his early days he may have appeared to have been a scary man on the outside,but his players respected him and many loved him.
Today is an incredibly sad day in the Yankee Universe, but at least George went out on top winning a championship last year. We all know George only cared about winning and breathing. George Steinbrenner will always be remembered as the greatest and most influential figure in the history of sports.
Rest in peace, George and Bob.
Although it had already been pretty clear, Bob Sheppard recently officially announced he is not coming back. Sheppard told Bryan Hoch, “I have no plans of coming back. Time has passed me by, I think. I had a good run for it. I enjoyed doing what I did. I don’t think, at my age, I’m going to suddenly regain the stamina that is really needed if you do the job and do it well.” He certainly had a good run for it. The first game he announced at Yankee Stadium was on April 17, 1951. He announced every game from that day until 2007, when he fell ill. That’s about 4,500 games, pretty impressive. Well, he sure had a great career, and he definitely deserves to be in the Hall of Fame. I hope he continues to recover from his sickness, and hopefully he can enjoy what is left of his life. It would also be great if he could visit the new stadium for a day, and the Yankees could hold a “Bob Sheppard Appreciation Day”, even though they did that back in 2000. Anyway, I wish all the best for Mr. Sheppard and I’m really going to miss hear his voice. Here’s a video from the tribute in 2000: