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03/31/2009 3:52 PM ET
Bob Sheppard to miss beginning of 2009 season
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The New York Yankees announced today that longtime public address announcer Bob Sheppard will be unavailable at the commencement of the Yankees' 2009 inaugural season, including the club's workout on April 2 as well as the first exhibition games at Yankee Stadium on April 3-4 and Opening Day on April 16, as a result of his continuing recovery from a bronchial infection.

For the Yankees' workout day on April 2 and their exhibition games vs. the Chicago Cubs on April 3-4, Paul Olden will substitute for Mr. Sheppard in the public address booth at Yankee Stadium while he continues to recover at his home on Long Island. A 12-time Super Bowl public address announcer, Olden's broadcasting career spanned 17 years, including two seasons in the Yankees' television broadcast booth from 1995-96, alongside Bobby Murcer and Phil Rizzuto.

This season marks the 58th anniversary of Sheppard's debut as the Yankees' public address announcer. His first game was on Opening Day, April 17, 1951, as the Yankees defeated the Boston Red Sox, 5-0.

"I will not be able to be at Yankee Stadium for the series with the Cubs or Opening Day," Sheppard said. "My personal physician advised me to wait until I am ready. It is in the hands of God. I am looking forward to doing games in the new Stadium."

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