Nov
26

Sheppard officially calls it a career

By

Bob Reads a Poem

Bob Sheppard makes his final Yankee Stadium appearance. (Photo by Benjamin Kabak)

While nothing but a formality at this point, Bob Sheppard has officially retired. In a discussion with MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch, Sheppard said that, at age 99, he won’t be returning as the Yankees’ public address announcer.

“I have no plans of coming back,” Sheppard said yesterday. “Time has passed me by, I think. I had a good run for it. I enjoyed doing what I did. I don’t think, at my age, I’m going to suddenly regain the stamina that is really needed if you do the job and do it well.”

The nonagenarian made his Yankee Stadium debut on April 17, 1951. He served as the PA announcer for around 4500 games, and his career spanned from Mickey Mantle to Reggie Jackson to Don Mattingly to Derek Jeter and everyone in between. He introduced the Yankees for 121 consecutive postseason games before coming down with a very serious bout of pneumonia in September 2007.

In talking with Hoch, Sheppard explained how, while he’s regained his health, the whole process of traveling to and from the stadium requires more stamina than he has right now. “It’s not just the two hours or three hours of baseball,” Sheppard said. “It’s the trip, the preparation, the trip home, and a long, long day. I think at my age, it’s time to accept the fact that I had a great run. A great run. And I only made a few mistakes along the way.”

Sheppard says his weight fell nearly 40 pounds to 103 during his illness, and he plans to make a trip to see the stadium in 2010. Sheppard will live on in Derek Jeter’s at-bats and in Yankee lore. We’ll miss him in the Bronx and wish the Voice of God nothing but the best.

Categories : News
  • Raf

    best of luck to Sheppard with his health for his remaining years.
    glad to still hear his voice live on with Jeter’s AB’s like you said.

  • Bob Stone

    I’ve been missing him for two years now. I wish that the Yankees would ask him to pre-record introductions for each Yankee on the 40 man roster for 2010 (and intro for the national Anthem too if possible). That would be a great tribute and a lot of run.

    • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ The Artist

      +1

      I’ve read previously that for the final game in the old Yankee Stadium, they offered to have a audio setup in his house which could be sent to the ballpark either live or pre-recorded. In both cases, he declined.

  • larryf

    Well there’s always http://www.derekjeter.com to get your daily dose of Sheppard…

  • Michael Kay

    We’ll miss ya Bob.

  • Yankeegirl49

    I was hoping he would come back for one more game at the new stadium. He will be missed immensely.

    • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ The Artist

      Yeah, I was hoping he’d at least do Opening Day at the new facility. But he says he’s just not up to it.

  • Eric S

    Do you think the team will honor him in any way? Like the Tigers retired Ernie Harwell’s microphone? He certainly seems to deserve a day and a plaque in Monument Park.

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

      There’s already a plaque in Monument Park for him. The Yanks had Bob Sheppard Day a few years ago. It was great.

      • Eric S

        Ah, there you go. Must have missed it at the new stadium – pretty dark in there.

  • Joe S.

    Who will be the voicwe of Mo

  • nyyankfan7

    All I can say is Thank You Bob Sheppard. What a great Yankee. He may never have been on the field to win the World Series but he is a true Yankee. Everyone should realize how special of a man he is if Derek Jeter refuses to have his name annouced by anyone other than him.

  • Pasqua

    For what it’s worth, I’m really pleased that Bob was able to make this decision and bow out on his own terms. I hope that he takes immense satisfaction in being able to read and hear all of the well-deserved praise that will surely be forthcoming, now that his retirement is official.

  • Stormrider6

    My girlfriend’s father: “There are only two possible replacements for Bob Sheppard: James Earl Jones, and God.”

    • Joe S.

      IETC

    • Bob Stone

      That’s a great comment. I agree.

    • Amy

      How much would it be to get JEJ full time?

      • Renny Baseball

        No, great voice, but no replacement for Bob Sheppard. I’d hate it, too over-the-top. Besides, I couldn’t live with Darth Vader announcing the Yankees!

        • LI Kevin

          Darth Vader introducing the Evil Empire.

        • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ The Artist

          Darth Vader introducing the Yanks would be off the charts amazing. It may be the only thing Yankee and Red Sox fans would both agree on.

  • thurdonpaul

    God Bless You Mr. Sheppard, you will be missed, Thank You

  • sk

    I missed the hell out of him for the past 2 seasons. We’re lucky as Yankee fans that even our announcer is amazing and iconic.

  • Opus

    I’ll remember him fondly, but I’ll also remember how in the 98-00 championship years, he screwed up the player intros in the World Series two years in a row. The one I remember was skipping O’Neill, who stood there with a confused look as Bernie Williams (who was introduced in his place), pushed him out in front of him.

  • Renny Baseball

    Thank you, Mr. Shepard for gracing us with your voice for all these years. You are already missed. Wishing you the best of health and still many good years ahead.

  • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ The Artist

    What I’ll miss most was the care and respect he had for the English language. It’s a lost art, one which people don’t pay much attention to nowadays. He was a Professor of Speech at St John’s University, and always considered that far more important than his work as an announcer.

    If you noticed in the article, he said one of the reasons he’s not coming back was the preparation involved in announcing a game, meaning he would take the time to make sure he said each name perfectly. Not everyone who announces games would do it that way, yet he couldn’t imagine doing it any other way.

  • Pingback: Tales from Sheppard’s life in baseball | River Avenue Blues

  • Pingback: Bob Sheppard passes away at 99 | River Avenue Blues