Torre calls late Sheppard 'a classic'

Torre calls late Sheppard 'a classic'

LOS ANGELES -- The first time through the lineup for both the Dodgers and Cubs on Sunday at Dodger Stadium, public-address announcer Eric Smith changed up his routine.

"Batting next, center fielder, Number 27, Matt Kemp," he said, his words hanging on each pause. "Number 27."

Smith was paying homage to Yankees announcer Bob Sheppard, who passed away Sunday at 99. Repeating a player's number was Sheppard's signature style.

"He just was a classic," said Dodgers manager Joe Torre, who managed the Yankees for 12 seasons. "I was talking to Billy Crystal this morning, and he used Bob in his movie '61*.' The energy he had for the age he was was pretty amazing. ... You'd see him the dugout every once in awhile before batting practice, just sitting there. He didn't necessarily need to talk to anybody, but he was like a magnet because he drew a lot of people."

Jeff Weaver, who was with the Yankees in 2002-03, was saddened to learn the news of Sheppard's passing from a reporter.

"He's one of a kind, that's a voice you look forward to hearing when you're in Yankee Stadium," Weaver said.

Asked if he had ever met the legend, Weaver simply said, "I didn't really need to."