Longtime Voice of the Yankees Bob Sheppard, 99, Retiring

by

November 28, 2009

Longtime Voice of the Yankees Bob Sheppard, 99, Retiring NEW YORK — Bob Sheppard has no intentions of returning
to his longtime job as the public address announcer at Yankee Stadium, MLB.com
reported Thursday.

Sheppard, who is 99, hasn't worked a game since late in
the 2007 season due to illness.

"I have no plans of coming back," Sheppard told the Web
site in a telephone interview. "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."

When contacted by The Associated Press, Yankees spokesman
Jason Zillo said the team had no announcement or comment at this time.

Famous for his distinct and resonant tones, Sheppard
became the PA announcer at the old Yankee Stadium in 1951. Decades later, Reggie
Jackson
gave him the nickname "The Voice of God."

Sheppard has called out names from Joe DiMaggio to Mickey
Mantle
to Derek Jeter over the years. For the final game at the old park in
2008, he recorded a greeting to fans and the introduction of New York's starting
lineup.

Paul Olden took over as the public address announcer at
the new Yankee Stadium this year in Sheppard's absence. Jim Hall, a longtime
backup, filled in for Sheppard late in 2007 and last year.

But when Jeter steps to the plate, it's still a recording
of Sheppard's voice that rings out: "Now batting for the Yankees, No. 2,
Deh-rick Jee-tuh."

Sheppard told MLB.com that he doubts "very, very much"
that he'll be able to resume his duties for even one game next season.

"It's not just the two hours or three hours of
baseball," he 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."

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