Earlier today the NY Times jumped the gun a bit and announced the New York Yankees Stadium announcer Bob Sheppard was going to retire for health reasons. The Yankees later started that this information was false.
Ultimately we have to prepare for this events inevitability. Sheppard is 98 years old and has been the Stadium announcer sense 1951 and was the public address announcer for the New York Giants of the National Football League from 1956 to 2006. In his time with the Yankees, he has announced over 4,500 Major League Baseball games, and has seen the Yankees capture 22 American League pennants and 13 World Series championships.
But due to the state of text-to-speech technology, Sheppard’s voice could be the voice of the starting lineups for the next 50 years, if the Yankees choose to go that route.
Patrick Dexter, director of business development for Cepstral a leader in text-to-speech technology, told CNBC that it would be possible for the company to create a program that would enable the Yankees to have every player – the Yankees and their opponents – be announced by Sheppard’s voice forever.
Currently because of Bobs health they don’t expect him to make an appearance at the stadium until mid-season. I would think that with modern technology they would be able to do a remote broadcast from his home but I’m sure they have thought of this. Some people think the Idea of recording his voice to use forever is a little creepy and others believe that there is just no replacement for the legendary announcer. Derek Jeter has already taken measures to ensure that his name will always be announced by Sheppard and has a recording that is played every time Jeter steps up to the plate.
So what do you think should Sheppard be recorded using the technology and be the stadium announcer forever or when Sheppard retires should they open a new chapter in Yankees history with a new announcer?