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The Voice of the Yankees retires

Nov 26, 2009, 12:53 PM EDT

Bob Sheppard hasn’t announced games at Yankee Stadium since 2007, but he had not made his retirement official until today:

Bob Sheppard served more than 50 seasons as the “Voice of Yankee
Stadium,” his clear, concise and correct style proudly providing the
soundtracks of summer for Yankees players from Joe DiMaggio to Derek
Jeter.

One month after celebrating his 99th birthday by watching the
Yankees inch closer to their 27th World Series championship — the
first Fall Classic he missed in the Bronx since 1951 — Sheppard has
decided it is time to officially step down as the club’s public address
announcer.

“I have no plans of coming back,” Sheppard said on Wednesday 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.”

Most people retire when they’re over 30 years younger than Sheppard, so he has more than put in his fair share of work.  Still, he will be missed by Yankees fans and anyone else who fell in love with baseball back when a day at the ballpark was a simple and straightforward affair. No dot races, no rock music pumped in before every at bat and no other sorts of nonsense.  Just the sun, some light organ music and the sounds of the game, chief among them the dulcet tones of a true pro like Sheppard.

  1. John Pileggi - Nov 26, 2009 at 1:39 PM

    A delightful professional, and a throwback to baseball games as an end unto themselves. No frills, no screaming, no needless additions. Mr. Sheppard, you have earned a comfortable and enjoyable retirement. I hope the World Series was a suitable parting gift.

  2. YankeesfanLen - Nov 26, 2009 at 1:49 PM

    As someone who listens to all 177 games on radio and truly appreciates the audio of the game, I must say, along with number two, Godspeed, Mr. Sheppard.

  3. your mom goes to college - Nov 26, 2009 at 2:24 PM

    it’s a sad, sad day. i just feel fortunate to have heard this wonderful p.a. announcer on the few occasions i had the chance. best wishes bob, you will be missed.

  4. Howard - Nov 26, 2009 at 2:35 PM

    The precise, deep tone of his voice was perfect for the cathedral of baseball, Yankee Stadium. My he live another 99 years.

  5. Mike - Nov 26, 2009 at 2:42 PM

    Crap, I saw the title and I thought John Sterling retired. Wishful thinking, I guess.

  6. Bobby Townsend - Nov 26, 2009 at 2:48 PM

    Mr. Sheppard was an English Professor at St. John’s University when I was a student there. I believe he attended back in the day. I totally agree with the previous poster, no screaming into the mike or any of that other nonsense and his voice was very distinctive. Yankee Stadium will never be the same. Good luck Mr. Sheppard and hope you are around many, many more years.

  7. YankeesfanLen - Nov 26, 2009 at 3:12 PM

    Guess my motto for 2010 is going to be Leave John Sterling alone!

  8. BronxBomber5 - Nov 26, 2009 at 3:39 PM

    One of the real treasures of my life was to hear Bob Shepherd announce the lineup at Old Yankee Stadium. It sent shivers up my back. Class is the only word I can think of and that is inadequate. Billy Chrystal said it best. “When I die and go to Heaven, I want Bob Shepherd to announce my arrival.”

  9. SoxNation51 - Nov 26, 2009 at 4:20 PM

    He’s worthy of the deepest respect and admiration from baseball fans everywhere. A voice to rival the great Sherm Feller from Fenway Park. He will be missed.

  10. Corey Kendall - Nov 26, 2009 at 5:22 PM

    Whenever you watched games at Yankee Stadium, Bob Sheppard’s voice was always present & distinctive. He truely was the “Voice Of The Yankees”. I like how Derek Jeter still has Sheppard’s voice-over playing over the PA system when he comes to bat. Kind of like a tribute to Mr. Sheppard. Bob also worked on the PA system for NY Giants home games for many years as well.
    Hope you have a wonderful retirement Bob Sheppard, & may you live many more years in happiness. Won’t be the same without you.

  11. mrchuckhall - Nov 26, 2009 at 7:36 PM

    Just like the announcers I recall from my youth, Sherm Feller was part of the Fenway landscape. Sheppard was part of the landscape, too, inasmuch as the Yankees were. On the radio, he was the “face” of the Yankees. Time marches on, I guess, and we can be thankful for those who set the standards, like Sheppard, like Feller. I wish him the best – and hearty thanks!

  12. MickeyBoy7 - Nov 26, 2009 at 8:16 PM

    He was class all the way. Announced the visiting team the same way as the home team. Clear and concise…you could understand every word.
    No phony excitable screaming. I miss him.

  13. smokehouse - Nov 26, 2009 at 8:27 PM

    He was part of my youth in the 1950’s. “Batting fourth for New York, #7, Mickey Mantle, #7″ He was music to my ears. I can still hear him. I have worked on for years and completed an almost perfect knock off of his voice. People love it.

  14. Jim - Nov 26, 2009 at 8:57 PM

    Bob Shepard was a major part of any game at the old (pre-1976)stadium. He will be missed.

  15. Ed - Nov 27, 2009 at 1:09 AM

    A true sports icon. Sto lat, Bob

  16. Bill Urmston - Nov 27, 2009 at 3:04 AM

    I remember Bob Shepard’s clear, crisp voice announcing the likes of DiMaggio, Rizzuto, Mantle and Berra in the early ’50’s. Thanks for the memories, Bob, your number should also be retired. Best of luck in your next century.

  17. Simon DelMonte - Nov 27, 2009 at 4:26 AM

    He will be missed. There is no one else like him, certainly not in an age of endless ads and music and gimmicks on the scoreboard. He brought dignity to the ballpark.

  18. Ian in the Excited States - Nov 27, 2009 at 7:33 AM

    Billy Crystal may make it up there before Mr. Sheppard -who’ll introduce him then?
    As A fan of both Sawxes – both Red and White – I nevertheless have the greatest respect for Mr. Sheppard’s dignity and professionalism. :ongger liafe to him!

  19. jim - Nov 27, 2009 at 9:18 AM

    Having heard your voice since I was born at every game these last 50 years was also a way of being home. You will be missed

  20. YANKEES1996 - Nov 27, 2009 at 10:26 AM

    I will never forget sitting in the summer sun of Yankee Stadium and hearing Bob Sheppard announce the names of the Yankees, first as a boy at the game with my dad and then later with my sons as their father. MR.Sheppard I hope you have at least a small clue as to the number of lives you touched with your graceful and gentle voice. You have my thanks, my respect and my deepest admiration as a long time Yankee fan!

  21. Jeff - Nov 27, 2009 at 11:33 AM

    True class and a velvet delivery of the player’s names.

  22. Michael - Nov 27, 2009 at 1:12 PM

    John Sterling says”Swishilous,” come on you gotta love “A A-BOMB from A-ROD” too. What a loser he should have been fired years ago. How much ass does he kiss on a daily basis!

  23. Spice - Nov 27, 2009 at 5:26 PM

    The greatest PA announcer in history. Bar none. What a shock it was the first time I heard a PA announcer that wasn’t Bob Sheppard.
    Reggie nicknamed Bob Sheppard the Voice of GOD.
    There will never be a better PA announcer.
    Enjoy your retirement Mr Sheppard.

  24. Lew - Nov 27, 2009 at 11:39 PM

    They say that anyone can be replaced. Bob Sheppard is the perfect example of how false that statement is.

  25. Kerry - Nov 28, 2009 at 3:32 AM

    A real straight forward telling it like it is gentelman.A true voice that made you really listen too.I will surely miss him and I am so happy I heard him announce a few games in 2006.He deserves a place out there with the other greats in deep center.

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