I can picture it right now. I’m sitting in the stands at Yankee Stadium thirty years from now and I hear this. “Now Batting…Number 22…Derek Jeter Jr….Number 22.”
I've discussed Bob Sheppard many, many times here as he's struggled to return to the mic at the Stadium. His replacement, Jim Hall, has a wonderful voice, strikingly similar to Mr. Sheppard's, but like any sequel, it's never as good as the original. Mr. Hall had a rough night on Tuesday, but I think this is an amazing idea.
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.
“Doing names and numbers is easier than creating what they call a full domain voice, which is voicing full sentences,” Dexter said. “But if we had some time and money – and the Yankees certainly might have that bankroll -- we could do this.”
I think this would be great.