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
  • http://www.mindsmack.com Sam Feuer

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

  • Colombo

    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

      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.

  • UWS

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

  • Yankeegirl49

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

  • WhizzoTheWize

    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.

  • Ace

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

    • KW

      I don’t get the idea that he’s a faux-Sheppard. He’s known Sheppard for a very long time and was his understudy. They just happen to have similar voices.

      http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09.....=permalink

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        I personally like Hall and would have no problem with him taking over for Sheppard.

  • http://nyfaninboston.blogspot.com/ Manimal

    they need to hire this guy
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DK799W6AhBk

    • Yankeegirl49

      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.

  • Drew

    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.

  • A.D.

    Hopefully he’s back for old timers day

    • radnom

      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.

  • UWS

    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…?

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Benjamin Kabak

      There’s also a chance that the Pirates win the World Series this year.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        No, there’s not.

  • Andy In Sunny Daytona

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

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Benjamin Kabak

      It’s not an April Fools joke. It just hasn’t been officially, officially confirmed by the Yanks. I’m sticking by Curry and his sources.

      • Yankeegirl49

        ESPN just confirmed it

      • Andy In Sunny Daytona

        Sheppard has been slowed by a bronchial infection. When asked what his plans were, he said: “I never said I’m not returning. I never, never said I’m not returning and I say it to you now.”

        That’s straight from Metatron

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Benjamin Kabak

          Was this ESPN stuff on TV or on their site? I can’t find it at ESPN.com.

          • UWS

            The Curry article in the Times that you linked above has been updated.

          • Yankeegirl49

            Text update

          • Andy In Sunny Daytona

            ESPN will probably report that Arod punched him in the throat in a roid-induced rage

            • Mike Pop

              Or Kenny “Sucka got no juice” Rosenthal as TSJC would say.

              • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                I still can’t believe that.

                Shocking.

  • jsbrendog

    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

    • Yankeegirl49

      He already has one, I think since around 2000.

      • donttradecano

        correct.

      • jsbrendog

        fail by me

        • Mike Pop

          You’re pathetic.

  • Wayne’s World

    Even he got sick of what the Yankees have become.

    • Mike Pop

      Ugh.

    • donttradecano

      yea that was almost funny.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        No, it wasn’t.

        • donttradecano

          that was sarcasm my friend.

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

            I know. I just wanted to be explicit.

  • donttradecano

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

  • http://jorgesaysno.blogspot.com Josh

    Tough news…Sheppard was a truly a wonder.

    -jorgesaysno

  • Rich

    Life hasn’t cheated him.

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

  • Steve

    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

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Benjamin Kabak

      They had a Bob Sheppard Day a few years ago. 1999, I think.

      • UWS

        Would it hurt them to have another one?

  • jsbrendog

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

  • Russell NY

    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.

  • jsbrendog

    my comments deleted? too much?

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Benjamin Kabak

      One-hundred percent off-topic comments are going to be deleted, per the commenting guidelines. That’s not a new policy.

      • jsbrendog

        oh come on, thousands of times the same thing has been done. haha i even got a hat tip for a 100% off topic comment

      • Ace

        Seems to me there needs to be a permanent open thread for off-topic discussions. There is enough traffic on the site to justify it.

        • jsbrendog

          this is a genius idear

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        One-hundred percent off topic? Damn, that sounds interesting! Best I’ve ever been able to do is about 87% off topic. 100% is perfect! I wanna know what he said now…

        Did JSB get that scoop on the Sterling-Waldman sex scandal I mentioned eariler?

        • jsbrendog

          just quoted directly some obnoxious comments from the jerry crasnick chat that really grinded my gears. needed a place to share.

          • jsbrendog

            ps yes i know it should be “ground” but i went with grinded because it fits better

          • jsbrendog

            ps yes i know it should be “ground” but i went with grinded because it fits better

            • jsbrendog

              wow, im setting the record for epic fails today.

              dubya tee eff

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

            just quoted directly some obnoxious comments from the jerry crasnick chat that really grinded my gears

            Where in the bible does it say that a man can’t fire off some knuckle-children in the privacy of his own neighbor’s living room while his neighbor’s at work because I don’t have a DVD player? Well, I don’t know where it says it because the Bible was way too long to read!

  • Mike Pop

    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

      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)

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        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*

  • Andy In Sunny Daytona

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

    • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

      Kinda like Bernie, right? Well, except Sheppard was still good at what he did.

      OH NO HE DIDN’T.

      • jsbrendog

        bern

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        How dare you speak about the most feared hitter of his generation in such a flippant manner.

        Apologize.

        • jsbrendog

          ::don king moves his ass cheeks a little closer to randy marsh’s face::

          apologize….

  • http://thebronxbombersblog.com Vin R

    ESPN says Sheppard is denying the times report. interesting

  • Pingback: Now turning 99, the public announcer, Bob Sheppard, now turning 99 | River Avenue Blues

  • donttradecano

    im down… axr29@dowling.edu

  • jsbrendog

    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