According to this Jack Curry article in today’s Times, the man behind the mic at Yankee Stadium for nearly 60 years is retiring.
The new Yankee Stadium will sound much different than the old one. Bob Sheppard, the public-address announcer for the Yankees since 1951, has retired.
Paul Doherty, a friend and agent who has represented Sheppard, said Sheppard’s son, Paul, told him about Sheppard’s plans on Wednesday morning.
“I think Bob just wants to take it easy and no longer have the pressure of, ‘Can he? Will he? Or won’t he?’” Doherty said in an e-mail message. “And, at 98, who can blame him?”
Doherty added that Sheppard remained active.
“I’m happy to say that Bob is still doing well enough to drive a car,” Doherty said. “He picked his son up at the train this past weekend.”
It is truly a shame that Mr. Sheppard won’t be able to provide his dulcet tones towards the line-ups at the opening of the new Stadium on the 16th. But he was a constant for over 57 years with the Yankees . . . rarely missing a game . . . with an instantly-identifiable voice and timbre.
How many of us have mimicked Mr. Sheppard’s intonations over the years when we stepped to the plate in our softball/baseball games? How many of us still take joy in hearing “Number 2 . . . Derek Jeter . . . Number 2 . . . ” when the Captain comes to bat?
We wish you well Mr. Sheppard, and thank you for adding so much to our experiences at the Stadium.
UPDATE as of 4:18PM : The Yankees have officially refuted the story.
The Yankees denied the report, stating that Sheppard continues to be their official public-address announcer.
“We have spoken to Paul Sheppard, and he was very clear to us that the report made is categorically untrue,” said Yankees director of public relations Jason Zillo. “Paul Sheppard has not said anything remotely like that.”