By Robert Schlesinger, Thomas Jefferson Street blog
The new Yankee Stadium really won't be the same: Bob Sheppard, the Yankees' public address announcer since 1951, has retired, according to The New York Times. He is 98. He was literally the voice of the stadium—ask any Yankees fan and they'll give you a Bob Sheppard impression. The mind reels at the notion of Bronx Bombers games without his unhurried accompaniment. The Yankees reached the World Series 22 times in Sheppard's 58 years—maybe if they make it this year, they can bring him back to announce the lineup.
Update: Peter Abraham of the invaluable LoHud Yankees Blog, among other outlets, reports that the Yankees are refuting the Times' retirement story. So maybe Sheppard hasn't retired yet. But, as Abraham points out, the odds of his returning to the stadium mic are "slim."
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Updated on 4/2/09: An earlier version of this blog post has been updated at bottom.