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Posts Tagged ‘New York Giants’

Joe Girardi has chosen the NY Giants to prevail over the New England Patriots to win Superbowl XLVI. I’m not going to argue with a prediction like that. He says the G-Men will win 27-24. Girardi said that he’s a fan of Tom Coughlin’s work and they’ve even been known to exchange text messages after a victory.

I can only imagine the texts that those two send. I love Coughlin, but I’m quite surprised that he knows how to send text messages. Maybe Girardi texts Coughlin to run more with Bradshaw after referencing his trusted all-knowing binder?

I figured in honor of the Giants, I would make this post. GO GIANTS!

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The New York Yankees won their first World Series back in 1923 against the New York Giants. Instead of a World Series ring, the players and team personnel received a Gruen Pentagon gold pocket watch to commemorate the win. The words, “Yankees – World Champions 1923” are engraved on the watch. It was the only “Non-Ring” award the franchise was given, as they got a ring for the 26 other championships.

1923 World Series Yankees, 4 Giants, 2

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This blog post is a piece I wrote for the “Pinch Hitter Series” over at The LoHud Yankees Blog. I want to thank Yankees beat writer Chad Jennings for giving me the opportunity to participate. I have a great appreciation for the rich history of this great franchise, and I thought it would be great to pay tribute to one of it’s finest characters. Here is the uncut version of my entry:

“Hello there, everybody!” That’s one of the many catchphrases you might have heard by Melvin Allen Israel during his Yankees broadcasts. He was born on February 14, 1913, in Birmingham, Alabama. His love for the game of baseball as a young boy would play a big role in his life.

The future sportscaster attended the University of Alabama where he was a member of Zeta Beta Tau Fraternity as an undergraduate. He served as the public address announcer at Alabama football games. In 1933, Birmingham’s WBRC was in need of a new play-by-play announcer and Alabama coach Frank Thomas suggested Israel to fill the position. It was his first job behind the microphone. Israel’s first broadcast was Alabama’s home opener that year, against Tulane. He went on to earn a law degree from Alabama, but that wasn’t a major priority in his life. His boyhood love for baseball led him to become first a sports columnist and then a radio announcer.

Soon after graduating from Alabama in 1937, Allen took a train to New York City for a vacation, and he never turned back. While on vacation, he auditioned for the CBS Radio Network as a staff announcer. They already knew about him, as the network’s top sportscaster, Ted Husing, had heard many of his Crimson Tide broadcasts. They hired him at $45 a week. In his first year at CBS, he announced the crash of the Hindenburg. CBS suggested that Mel go by a different on-air last name, so he chose Allen, his father’s middle name. He legally changed his last name to Allen in 1943. That week’s vacation became 60 years. He settled in New York and lived in the metro area for many years. (more…)

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     I am pinch hitting over at The LoHud Yankees Blog. I wrote a piece about that man behind the mic and what he means to the Yankees organization. I want to thank Yankees beat writer Peter Abraham for giving me the opportunity to participate in his Pinch Hitting series. 

Here is my entry:

“Good evening ladies and gentlemen and welcome to Yankee Stadium.” The man who speaks those words has been given the name, “The Voice of Yankee Stadium” or the “Voice of God,” but most fans know him as Bob Sheppard. He has been the New York Yankees public address announcer since 1951. (his debut: April 17, 1951) He was also the PA announcer for the NY Giants of the NFL from 1956-2006. Sheppard has called over 4,500 Yankees games, and has watched them win 22 AL pennants and 13 WS championships. The first lineup he ever announced contained five future HOFers: Dimaggio, Mantle, Mize, Berra, & Rizzuto. Sheppard is known for his longevity and his very unique announcing style. When a player steps up to the plate, he says: Now batting for the Yankees…the players number, his name, and his number again. (Now batting for the Yankees…#2…Derek Jeter…#2)

      Sheppard was originally a speech teacher in John Adams High School & at St. John’s University. He considers teaching his main job. He claims that public address announcing is his part-time job. That same part-time job has lasted 56 years for the Yankees. He believes that the most important thing any public speaker has to have is audibility. Well don’t worry Bob..we hear you loud and clear!

     His booming voice throughout the stadium will never be forgotten, and will always be part of Yankee Stadium lore. Young players and fans only dream of stepping up to the plate at Yankee Stadium and hearing that voice announce their name. Sheppard missed the entire final season at Yankee Stadium. Jim Hall subbed in for him throughout the season. Derek Jeter didn’t feel comfortable of someone else announcing his name, so he had the organization record Mr. Sheppard’s voice. He is the only Yankee with that privilege. It just shows how much the players respect him and how much it means to them. Bob Sheppard is so beloved, that they might even consider using his voice forever.

  • St. John’s university created an award in honor of Bob Sheppard. It’s called the Sheppard Trophy, and it’s given to the most outstanding student-athlete.
  • His microphone has been encased in the Baseball HOF in Cooperstown, NY.
  • To honor Sheppard’s 50th season as the Yankees PA announcer, the team created a plaque in his honor in Monument Park.
  • He has also been given World Series Championship rings and an NFL Super Bowl Championship ring honoring his role with the Yanks’ and the Giants.
  • Bob has also appeared in a few movies, including  Anger Management, 61*, The Scout and The Bronx Is Burning. His voice can also be heard on three episodes of Seinfeld. (The Letter, The Masseuse, & The Chaperone)

     Sheppard has never really mentioned how old he really is. Some sites list his birthday as October 12, 1910, which would make him 98 years-old. That is truly amazing. Mr. Sheppard has stated that he is under contract to announce the first game in the new Yankee Stadium this upcoming season. I think I can speak for all Yankee fans in saying that we wish Mr. Sheppard would get better and return to the new Yankee Stadium. It just wouldn’t be the same without him.

“I have one style of speaking, … It’s the same at Yankee Stadium, at home, in the classroom, or when I lector at Mass.” ~Bob Sheppard

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71 Days Until Home Opener: April 16, 2009……

Jeter joins Bombers’ spring fling / Yanks will almost surely win the World Series

Mike Mussina interview with Francesa on the Fan / What’s Hughes role in ’09?

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