Bob Sheppard, the longtime public address announcer for the New York
Yankees, died Sunday at his home in Baldwin, New York, a team spokesman said.
He was 99.
Born in the New York borough of Queens, Sheppard earned a master's degree in speech at Columbia University and taught school. His career behind a microphone began after he volunteered during a charity football game in the late 1940s.
Sheppard began his tenure as Yankees announcer on April 17, 1951,Â the Opening Day debut of Mickey Mantle and final season of Joe DiMaggio.
"Most men go to work, but I go to a game," Sheppard once said. "How many men would love to do that?"
After more than 50 years as "The Voice of Yankee Stadium," Sheppard - who also announced for the New York Giants football team - called his final game at Yankee Stadium on September 5, 2007, a Yankees victory over the Kansas City Royals.
Recovering from illness, Sheppard in 2008 gave a valedictory in the final game at the original Yankee Stadium. His taped tribute played on the stadium's video board. HeÂ recited, "Farewell, old Yankee Stadium, farewell / What a wonderful story you can tell / DiMaggio, Mantle, Gehrig and Ruth / A baseball cathedral in truth."