Generous Orthodoxy  

Monday, July 12, 2010

A champion of language and baseball dies at 99

Few people in America today care half as much about diction, grammar, pronunciation, elocution, precision, and clarity as did the legendary "voice of the Yankees," Bob Sheppard (also known as the Voice of God). For fifty years he reigned and was everywhere admired for his announcing. He loved poetry and Shakespeare. He majored in English and speech at St John's University and earned a masters in speech at Columbia, eventually becoming an adjunct professor of speech at St John's.

He said, "I don't change my pattern. I speak at Yankee Stadium the same way I do in a classroom, a saloon, or reading the Gospel at Mass at St Christopher's."

Derek Jeter said, "He's as much a part of this organization as any player." Sheppard had died, but Jeter used the present tense. Long live language!

Here is a link to the main obituary. You will find there four other links to articles about Sheppard that everyone who cares about the English language will want to read: