Apr
01

Bob Sheppard may be close to calling it a career

By

Updated 4:02 p.m.: This one isn’t an April Fools joke: Bob Sheppard may be close to announcing his retirement as the Yankees’ public address speaker.

Sheppard, 98 and the Yankee announcer since 1951, has been out of commission since contracting a serious case of pneumonia in Sept. 2007, and while he had hoped to return to the Bronx, Paul Doherty, a family friend of Sheppard’s and a former agent for the Voice of God, told The Times’ Jack Curry that Sheppard no longer wants the pressure of a looming comeback. At his age, who can blame him?

Curry however could not get a confirmation from Sheppard. “I never said it,” the Yankees PA man told Curry. “I never said I’m not returning. I never, never said I’m not returning and I say it to you now.”

According to Doherty, Sheppard is stepping down for age-related reasons and not health reasons. Doherty says that Sheppard is still active and recently drove to pick up his son at the train station. The idea of a 98-year-old Sheppard behind the wheel is not a comforting one.

The Yankees, meanwhile, have not confirmed this rumor as official and have not yet named a successor to the legendary announcer. Jim Hall, the recent backup and 2008 announcer, won’t inherit the mantle, and Paul Olden will be announcing this weekend’s Yanks-Cubs exhibition games. If this is truly the end of the line for the six-decade veteran of the Yankee Stadium booth, all I can say is godspeed, Mr. Sheppard. It’s been quite a run.

Categories : News

70 Comments»

  1. Sam Feuer says:

    So sad. He was the greatest of all time and will be missed terribly.

  2. Colombo says:

    It won’t be the same without the Voice of God, but at least we can still hear him whenever Jeter comes up to bat.

    Here’s to a speedy recovery, Mr. Sheppard, and thanks for all the memories.

    • Victoria says:

      Jeter was so smart to do that, I don’t know why all the current Yankees didn’t do so. Also, they probably could have recorded (and still could record) Bob Sheppard’s voice making every possible sound and then digitally combined them so he could be the announcer for all of baseball eternity.

  3. UWS says:

    End of an era. And what an era it had been!

  4. Yankeegirl49 says:

    Bummer..it puts a damper on walking into the new place.
    It wont even be the same.

  5. WhizzoTheWize says:

    Baseball will never quite be the same.

    Bob Sheppard is as much a part of the Yankees as Ruth, Dimaggio or Mantle.

    A tip ‘o Whizzo’s cap to the Voice of god.

  6. Ace says:

    Here’s to a LEGEND! I hope they don’t make faux-Sheppard from last year the new announcer.

    • Yankeegirl49 says:

      I disagree…there can only be one Bob Sheppard, I would rather not have someone pretending to be him doing the announcing. Bobs legacy is his own and IMO someone else trying to be him takes away from that.

  7. Drew says:

    I’m sure they’ll immortalize him in the new PA booth.
    Jeter has said in the past that he only wants to be introduced by Shepp so I’m guessing we’ll still get to hear his voice a few times a game.

  8. A.D. says:

    Hopefully he’s back for old timers day

    • radnom says:

      Yeah, it would be a shame if he never made an appearance at the new stadium.

      Hopefully he catches a bus though….I’m more comfortable with Joba’s drunk driving than I am with Sheppard operating a vehicle at this point.

  9. UWS says:

    Per PeteAbe, though:

    UPDATE, 3:10 p.m.: The Yankees are now saying that the Sheppard retirement story is news to them. It’s safe to say the odds are slim that he returns to work regularly. But there has been no official retirement.

    So they’re saying there’s a chance…?

  10. Andy In Sunny Daytona says:

    Looks likes an April Fool’s Joke. Suckers. (me included)

  11. jsbrendog says:

    regardless of whether its a joke or not, how long do you think before he ges a plaque in monument park? i’d hope sooner rather than later so he can be alive to experience the honor

  12. Wayne's World says:

    Even he got sick of what the Yankees have become.

  13. donttradecano says:

    its a shame to hear he retired… i remember ever since i was a little kid hearing sheppards voice… sad day.

  14. Josh says:

    Tough news…Sheppard was a truly a wonder.

    -jorgesaysno

  15. Rich says:

    Life hasn’t cheated him.

    A job well done, Mr. Sheppard. Thanks for the memories.

  16. Steve says:

    The Yanks should make sure that they have a Bob Sheppard’s Day
    this year as early as he is feeling well enough.
    There Will NEVER be another like him
    God speed to a real gem

  17. jsbrendog says:

    seriously, the dude’s 98? damn man. that is quite epic.

  18. Russell NY says:

    Pete Abe’s new note:

    UPDATE, 3:10 p.m.: The Yankees are now saying that the Sheppard retirement story is news to them. It’s safe to say the odds are slim that he returns to work regularly. But there has been no official retirement.

  19. jsbrendog says:

    my comments deleted? too much?

  20. Mike Pop says:

    I hope he gets to announce the new team in the new stadium again, but I would completely understand if he doesn’t. As been said before, at least we get to hear Jeter announced by him for the time being.

    • jsbrendog says:

      until he dies and then it becomes creepy. as long as he remains alive im all for it but not after he dies.

      (obv a shot at jeter)

      • I’m with you there.

        I like that Jeter developed a bond with Sheppard to the point that he had him record a clip for him… but it’s also kinda sad and creepy that he won’t allow whomever replaces Sheppard to just do his intro like the rest of the team. Sometimes, you gotta move on, dude.

        *cough*leftfield*cough*

  21. Andy In Sunny Daytona says:

    I don’t think that he will ever officially retire.

  22. Vin R says:

    ESPN says Sheppard is denying the times report. interesting

  23. [...] news from Bob Sheppard. Although the Yanks’ nonagenarian public address announcer in April denied reports that he was retiring, Yankee Stadium was Sheppard-less throughout its first season, and Sheppard had not been at a [...]

  24. donttradecano says:

    im down… axr29@dowling.edu

  25. jsbrendog says:

    joe boston: Jerry, i need a yes/no prediction from you, near the trade deadline approaches are we going to see every yankee fans thinking they are going to get either roy halladay or jake peavy for the blockbuster package of ian kennedy/melkey cabrrera?

    Jerry Crasnick: (3:39 PM ET ) Joe, Uhh, that’s a definitive “yes.”

    urge to kill…rising

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