07/17/10 5:20 PM ET
Yankees legends remember Sheppard
By Didier Morais / MLB.com
"Now batting, No. 12, Ron Blomberg, Blomberg," Blomberg said, deepening his voice.
A few seconds later, however, Blomberg criticized the mimicry.
"That was terrible and that's why I'm not an announcer," said the former Yankees designated hitter.
That didn't stop fellow old timers from trying to bolster their broadcast skills. During an opening press conference, Reggie Jackson fired off his own imitation of Sheppard's introductory address to fans in attendance.
"Ladies and gentlemen, please direct your attention to the microphone near home plate," Jackson said with a smile on his face.
Although both Blomberg and Jackson couldn't match Sheppard's mastery behind the microphone, their efforts still revealed their undying appreciation for Sheppard's 56 years of service as the Voice of the Yankees.
And on Old Timers Day, several Yankees icons displayed the same courtesy, sharing their many thoughts and memories about the club's esteemed announcer.
Bucky Dent: "I remember my first day as a Yankee and standing on the on-deck circle and walking up and hearing him announce my name was a pretty neat. It's something you don't forget. Also, in the 1977 World Series. You dream as a kid, and all of sudden you're here in a World Series with the Yankees, and you're standing there and waiting for him to announce your name. You don't forget things like that."
Chris Chambliss: "I've been fortunate enough to be on the field and to start hearing his voice at the beginning of either batting practice, or a game, or when he'd start announcing things. It was just -- you've arrived. That voice just rings in your ears. But his voice is something we'll all remember forever."
Jerry Coleman: "No one ever spoke the English word the way Bob Sheppard did. He was an eloquent, beautiful man."
Roy White: "The best memory I have of Bob Sheppard is that I made his top-10 list. About six or seven years ago, he was asked who his 10 most memorable players were, and I was one of the guys on there. I never knew that he even noticed me that much. It meant a lot because he saw Joe [DiMaggio] and all the Yankee greats over his years as the PA announcer."
Ron Guidry: "Being in the bullpen and hearing his voice, whew, your spine would just tingle. But it was great just talking to him.
"Here's a guy who announced 50-some-odd years and, every once in awhile, you would ask him, 'What was your favorite game you got to announce?' And he'd tell you about Larsen's World Series [perfect game] or other great games. It was always fun to talk to him and get some of his experiences, rather than him always trying to ask me about mine."
Rich "Goose" Gossage: "Just every day, listening to him was a treat. He was a class act all the way through. What a gentlemen. You can't mention Yankee Stadium without Bob Sheppard. They go hand in hand."
Gene Michael: "Bob Sheppard was a very nice man. I didn't get to see him on a daily basis, but I'd see him often, and when I did see him, I knew he was a very pleasant man. He was a perfectionist."
Jackson: "What stands out to me about both [Sheppard and late Yankees owner George Steinbrenner] is you always felt better when they were around you than after they left. It's a grace that I had tremendous admiration for. Their concern for their fellow man, family, and God was their brand.
"To listen to 'The Voice from the Sky' -- as how I've called him -- if they ever did a movie about God and they needed a voice, it would be Bob Sheppard, and I will always remember his delivery."
Didier Morais is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.