Jeter, Bob Sheppard, and Funeral Ethics

Bob Sheppard, the “Voice of God” who announced batters in games at Yankee Stadium from Joe DiMaggio to Mark Teixeira, died this month at the age of 99. Yankee shortstop Derek Jeter announced that henceforth he would be introduced by a tape recording of Sheppard’s distinctively cultured tones, and the tributes from former players and current team members were generous and loving.

But when Sheppard was finally laid to rest over the All Star Game break, no Yankee player, past or present, took the time to attend his funeral. The team itself sent appropriate representation, and General Manager Brian Cashman spoke. Still, some journalists, bloggers and New York sportswriters found fault with the complete absence of the Yankee players, considering Sheppard’s iconic stature and their stated admiration of the man. The Daily News’ Bill Madden called it a blatant lack of class.

Perhaps. I’d call it coldness and insincerity. Continue reading