One of the most famous voices in the history of sports may be going silent. 348-year old Bob Sheppard, who has announced Yankee games at the House That Ruth Built since before Ruth was born, is apparently struggling to return from a bronchial infection that began during last year’s playoffs. According to Howard Rubenstein, a spokesman for the Yankees, the team “hopes he can return to the booth,” but it appears that alternative plans may be in the works to replace the iconic figure.
Jim Hall, a former colleague of Sheppard’s at St. John’s University, filled in during last year’s playoffs, but appears to not be the front runner for the full-time job. As of today, Sheppard’s son Chris, who holds a speech degree from Marquette University and taught the subject at a high school in Milwaukee, is the likely candidate to replace his father. He is currently a commercial airline pilot, but always dreamed of becoming the voice of the Yankees after his father retired.
Many who have seen pictures of Sheppard cannot believe that he is still alive and there were even rumors that production had begun on a new movie titled “Weekend at Sheppard’s,” showing the decrepit looking announcer duct-taped to a chair with a voice recording of each player’s name to be announced during games. It is believed that there are archives of Sheppard saying every single player in the Major and Minor leagues, in case they play at Yankee Stadium sometime in the new five years.
If he is in fact still alive, then get better Bob!