Monday, July 12, 2010

'Voice of God' Silenced

Describing a great voice is like describing a killer sunset. Even for the most deft wordsmiths, words don't do it justice.

The local newspaper folk took a hearty crack at describing former Yankee Stadium emcee Bob Sheppard's pipes after Sheppard passed away yesterday.

"Voice of God" seems to be the most popular. Sheppard had a good laugh when he was asked to read from the Bible at a players mass in the old Yankee Stadium.

"I've been called the Voice of God," Sheppard said in the NY Post. "This morning, I really am the Voice of God."

Sheppard, who was 99, was the personification of "the image of Yankees grandeur," wrote Richard Goldstein in the NY Times.

"Elegant intonation," Goldstein added.

"Majestic enunciation," said George Steinbrenner in a statement.

“The organ at church," suggested former Yankee star Paul O'Neill to the Bergen Record a few years ago.

Joe Girardi too thought of Sheppard as something close to a deity. He had a voice not from the stadium, but "from up above," the skipper told the NY Post.

Clyde Haberman of the NY Times described it as "a voice that sent sportswriters to the thesaurus in search of adjectives equivalent to sonorous, dignified, mellifluous and stately."

Perhaps it's best left to Sheppard himself to describe his voice. He said a stadium announcer should, above all, be: "clear, concise, correct," as opposed to "colorful, cute or comic."

Words for all of us to live by.


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