The New York Yankees longtime public address announcer Bob Sheppard hasÂ died at the age of 99.Â
Sheppard died at his home in Baldwin, on Long Island, according to his son Paul Sheppard.
Sheppard started with the Yankees in 1951. His impeccable introductions of stars from Joe DiMaggio to Derek Jeter earned him the nickname “The Voice of God,” the Associated Press reported.
â€œThe Yankees and Bob Sheppard were a marriage made in heaven,â€ Paul Sheppard, a 71-year-old financial adviser, told the New York Times. â€œI know St. Peter will now recruit him. If youâ€™re lucky enough to go to heaven, youâ€™ll be greeted by a voice, saying, â€˜Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to heaven!â€™ â€
Sheppard last worked at Yankee stadium late in the 2007 season, when he became ill. He recorded a greeting to fans that was played at the original ballpark’s final game in September 2008. His audio recording still is used to introduce Jeter before each at-bat at home by the Yankees captain, according to the AP.