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The Echoes of St. John: Bob Sheppard & George Steinbrenner

Echoes of St. John: Bob Sheppard & George Steinbrenner

Two pivotal figures in the New York Yankees’ history passed away this week: Bob Sheppard  on July 11, 2010 and George Steinbrenner on July 13, 2010.

Bob Sheppard lived from October 20, 1910 to July 11, 2010, while George Steinbrenner lived from July 4, 1930 to July 13, 2010.

Both were part of the rich historical legacy that surrounds the Yankees’ mystique and will be missed by fans of the NY Yankees and baseball history.

Bob Sheppard’s  connection to George Steinbrenner is evident not only in his role as the public address announcer for the NY Yankees, the “voice of God”, as Reggie Jackson proclaimed but in other profound ways. 

The connections that Sheppard had to George Steinbrenner went beyond the employee and employer relationship.  Sheppard’s date of his passing on 7-11-2010, has a mystic coded reference to the Yankees’  7 world series titles and 11 American League pennants earned under the ownership of Steinbrenner.

Bob Sheppard in addition to being an announcer for the Yankees was also a professor of speech, earning his Master’s degree from Columbia in 1933.  He was the announcer for the Yankees when they won the American League pennant 22 times and 13 world series.

He was also a star athlete while at St. John’s University, earning 7 varsity letters: 3 in baseball and 4 in football as the starting quarterback.  St. John’s University would later recognize its best student athletes with an award bearing his name, the Sheppard Trophy.

The name “John” would follow Bob Sheppard throughout his professional career.   On a metaphysical level it reveals an intimate connection Sheppard had with his personal guide as well as the choices he made to make a living as a craftsman of the “word”.

He began his teaching career as a speech teacher for John Adams, High School and would later serve in the same capacity at his alma mater-St. John’s University.The name of John Adams is significant for he assisted Thomas Jefferson in drafting the Declaration of Independence.  The word “declaration” is very similar to “announce” or “announcer”.

John Adams in addition to being a Vice-President and later President died on July 4th, the  “earth day” or birthday  of George Steinbrenner.

John in the Christian Bible was the precursor to the arrival of Jesus. In many ways John was the “announcer”  or the one who made a “declaration” of the coming of Jesus:

 “According to the Gospels, John’s role was to announce the coming of Jesus: in John 1:23 he tells interrogators, “I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord.”

On a mundane level, Sheppard performed the same function and role as John did in the Bible.  Sheppard by being the “voice in the ballpark” announced the names of those who were to come and be the focus of the fans in attendance.  Like wise, John in the Bible, didn’t  announce his importance but the importance of the one to come, Jesus.

The Gospel of John is interwoven with the act of “announcing”  as is evident in the first chapter of John when it is written: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God”.   Once again, another reference to Sheppard’s moniker as “the voice of God”.

Sheppard’s passing before George Steinbrenner could be viewed in spiritual terms as the announcement of  the Yankees’ owner  transition to “the other realm”. 

Consider that  Steinbrenner was taken to St. John’s hospital  in Tampa, Florida where he died at 6:30 am of a massive heart attack and Sheppard who was the Yankee’s “St. John” passed before him.

The person who was known as the “voice of God” was educated at institutions named after John  in the Bible and founding patron  of the United States, John Adams.

Writings credited to John in the Bible , profoundly deal with the “word” and  announcing the coming of someone greater”. John Adams who served as Vice President and President assisted in drafting the Declaration of Independence.  In both cases the references to “John” deal with the “word” and “announcing” as well as speech in general.

For someone who made their living as an announcer of one of, if not the best known sport franschises; from a spiritual perspective, his association with institutions with the name  John  cannot be seen as mere coincidence. 

In death he appears to serve the same function of announcing the coming of someone greater or who should be the focus.  This observation is evident with his passing occurring before that of George Steinbrenner, the person responsible in restoring Yankees’ glory.


The life of Bob Sheppard and George Steinbrenner are interconnected beyond the fact that Sheppard worked as an announcer of the New York Yankees.  When we examine, where Sheppard was educated and later worked, we find the name “John” at those institutions.

In particular, he was educated at St. John’s Preparatory in Bed-Stuy Brooklyn and St. John’s University.  Sheppard’s first job as an  speech teacher was at John Adams High School and later at his alma mater, St. John’s University.

In both cases the name “John” is related to the “word”, “speech” and “announcing”, which Sheppard committed decades to as a professional.  John Adams the historical figure  assisted in drafting the  Declaration of Independence.  To declare or make a declaration is similar to “announce ” it.  John Adams died on July 4th, 1826.  July 4th is the earth day of George Steinbrenner. 

The archetype of being an announcer travelled with Sheppard even in his death for the date of his passing had a mystic coded reference to the life of Steinbrenner. Sheppard passed on 7-11-2010.  Under Steinbrenner’s leadership as owner Yankees won 7 World Series  Championships and 11 American League Pennants.

The spirit of Sheppard , known as the “voice of God” can be metaphysically observed  with not only him passing away before Steinbrenner (as a form of announcing) but with Steinbrenner making his transition at St. John’s hospital (the spiritual archetype patron of Sheppard)in Tampa, Florida. 

©VisionThought 2010. All Rights Reserved.

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