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Bob Sheppard not expected at new Yankee Stadium opener

Bob Sheppard likely will not be at the public address microphone whenthe Yankees officially open their new stadium April 16, his wife, Mary, said Thursday.

"His doctor said he doesn't have the stamina yet to go back at thistime, but he's hoping sometime during the season he'll be able to,'' shesaid from their Baldwin home.

So the opener is out of the question? "He would love to be there; hewould love it,'' she said. "But at the moment the stamina isn't there.''

Sheppard, who is in his late 90s and has been the Yankees' public addressannouncer since 1951, missed the entire 2008 season recovering from abronchial infection.

He hoped to return for the All-Star Game and later for the last game atthe old stadium but had to settle for taping the announcement of the lineupfor the final game and having it played on the scoreboard.

Mary Sheppard said warmer mid-season weather might help ease her husband's return.

"He's been through a lot,'' she said. "But there is no one particularproblem. His weight is fine. And his voice is still excellent.''

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