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. For the final game at the old Yankee Stadium 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