Sai Baba used to call Shama as Shyama (One of the names of Sri Krishna). When Saibaba was invited by anyone on any good occasion, Sai Baba used to tell them to take Shama, and tel them that Shama's attendance would be same as His attendance. For this reason many of intelligent devotees of Sai Baba use to respect Shama equivalent to Sai Baba.
Nanasaheb Chandorkar, Kakasaheb Dixit, Dadasaheb Kharpade, Bapusaheb Butti, Bapusaheb Jog, Mamlatdar Balasaheb Mirikar, Hari Vinayak Sathe, Bhausaheb Dhumal etc. These devotees used to give much respect to Shama.
The word Shyama contains wonderful meaning. It has Bhava and Matru Bhava both in it. The sacred river Yamuna is called by the name Shyama, sacred plant Tulsi is called by the name Shyama, Lord Krishna is worshiped as Shyama. Lord Buddha is also known as "Shyamang". While performing Ashwamegh Yagna, the selection of the horse for it should be Shyamkarna, the Shastras says so.
Thus the name Shyama given to Shama or Madhavrao Deshpande by Sai Baba indeed had a lot of meaning in it.
(contents taken and translated from the Gujarati book Sai Sarovar)