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Yanks to honor Steinbrenner, Sheppard

Yanks to honor Steinbrenner, Sheppard

NEW YORK -- The Yankees will hold a tribute to commemorate the lives and recognize the deaths of George Steinbrenner and Bob Sheppard before tonight's game against the Rays.

The pregame ceremony will include a video tribute to Steinbrenner, the former Yankees chairman and principal owner, who died Tuesday at age 80, as well as a moment of silence for "The Boss" and Sheppard, the club's longtime public address announcer.

The game starts at 7:05 p.m. ET, and the team encourages fans to be at their seats by 6:45 p.m. Additional ceremonies will take place Saturday during Old-Timers' Day, and more tributes will be revealed Friday.

During the ceremony, a wreath will be placed in front of Steinbrenner's statue in the Gate 2 Executive Lobby of Yankee Stadium, and another will be placed in front of Sheppard's plaque in Monument Park.

Army Sgt. 1st Class Mary Kay Messenger will sing the national anthem, and the West Point Color Guard will present the colors.

Steinbrenner purchased the Yankees in 1973, and under his leadership, the club enjoyed a Major League-best seven World Series championships, including last year's triumph over the Phillies, which the players dedicated to Steinbrenner.

Sheppard, who worked his first game at Yankee Stadium in 1951 and was dubbed "The Voice of God" by slugger Reggie Jackson, died Sunday at age 99. He worked his last game in September 2007, but recorded audio for the Stadium's closing date in September 2008, as well as the introduction Derek Jeter has pledged to continue using for each at-bat.

Sheppard was celebrated Thursday in a funeral mass in his hometown of Baldwin, N.Y., where several hundred were in attendance to pay their respects, including Yankees general manager Brian Cashman and New York Giants president and CEO John Mara.

Additionally, the Nederlander family will be dimming their lights for one minute at all of their theaters on Thursday in honor of Steinbrenner.

The Yankees and all Minor League affiliates will wear commemorative uniform patches to honor Steinbrenner and Sheppard for the remainder of the season.

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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