Apr
16

Olden named permanent temporary replacement for Sheppard

By

paulolden The Yankees can never replace Bob Sheppard. While the six-decade veteran of the Yankee Stadium public address booth says he’s coming back this year, the 98-year-old is recovering from a very serious bout of pneumonia, and with rumors of his retirement swirling, the Yankees have named one-time TV broadcaster Paul Olden a permanent temporary replacement for Sheppard.

Olden is a veteran of the sports world. He has filled the PA job for the last 12 Super Bowls; he served as the play-by-play man for the Devil Rays in the early 2000s; and he worked for the Yankees with Phil Rizzuto and Bobby Murcer from 1995-1996.

For the Yankees, the choice of Olden represents something of a break from past practices. Olden has a deep, sonorous that feels like a good fit for any pro sports arena, but he’s not Bob Sheppard. Last year, with Sheppard on the DL for the entire season, the Yanks went with Jim Hall, Sheppard’s understudy and imitator. Now, they’re trying to find a distinct voice to usher in a new stadium.

It really is too bad that Bob Sheppard could not be healthy enough to see in the new park. He started out broadcasting in 1951 and lived through 13 World Series championships, 18 managers, a few owners and too many pitching changes to count. While slight of build, Sheppard’s voice will stand as a baseball icon forever.

Publicly, the Yanks have said that Olden is a temporary fill in. He’ll be around only as long as Sheppard remains out. I have a feeling though this this temporary replacement may be more permanent than the Yanks anticipate.

Categories : Yankee Stadium

15 Comments»

  1. JeffG says:

    I wonder what type of paycheck you bring in for something like this? I realize it takes a little skill but it has to be one of the easiest gigs on the planet.

    • George Spelvin says:

      I’m here in Cleveland, and remember Paul Olden as the Indians Announcer. He did the radio games, and never shut up, ever. He talked so much you couldn’t hear the crowd (or the crickets, when there was no crowd). He is an extremely articulate voice, though, and a good choice for that. I just hope his starting line-ups don’t take two hours.

  2. A.D. says:

    I have a feeling though this this temporary replacement may be more permanent than the Yanks anticipate.

    I don’t think the Yanks are being naive about Shepard’s health & age, its just a formality that they’re always going to keep the door open for Shepard.

  3. radnom says:

    That is one goofy looking fuck

  4. Steve B-BALL says:

    There is only one Bob Shepard, but times rolls on and at 98 you really can’t expect him to come back.
    Why don’t we wait and see what this new guy has to offer before throwing him under the bus!
    You never know.. ….new stadium , new voice ….it might work out fine!!

  5. Matt says:

    :(

    Good luck, Olden; we’ll miss you, Bob.

  6. UWS says:

    It would be awesome if Sheppard taped something for today’s ceremonies, though, a la his parting message at the last game last season.

    I wish Olden all the best, but he’ll never replace the Voice of God. But maybe that’s the point.

  7. Colpo says:

    You want something different? Why not rock it West Coast style and get a lady up there? Olden’s not that different – anybody who recalls his play-by-play from the mid-90s recalls him as a total generic stiff who sounds like he’s from Nowhere, USA. Not to hate here, but I would have wanted someone better/more distinctive than a guy better suited for MTA subway messages about reporting groping incidents and being held by the dispatcher.

  8. Eric S says:

    I remember Paul Olden from the mid-90s broadcasts. He was terrible in the booth, but as I recall he did have a voice that would lend itself to manning the PA at the Stadium. Best of luck to him – I don’t envy the person who has to follow Bob Sheppard. Voice of God indeed!

  9. Phil McCracken says:

    Will Jeter continue to be introduced by Sheppard since he’s got the tape?

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