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Yankees Radio Legend To Retire After Over 35 Years with the Team

Longtime New York Yankees radio broadcaster John Sterling announced his retirement, effective immediately, in a statement on Monday. He initially teased an upcoming Friday press conference to discuss his future, but ultimately broke the news on Monday instead. The team will honor Sterling at Yankee Stadium on Saturday before their game against the Tampa Bay Rays.

John Sterling Announces Retirement

Sterling, now 85 years old, has been a fixture in the Yankees radio booth since 1989. He went three decades as the play-by-play man without missing a single game, from his start with the team until July 2019, when he took a few games off. Since then, Sterling has scaled back his broadcast schedule, mostly taking some road trips off. Ryan Ruocco and Justin Shackil have filled in for him on these occasions. Sterling has had several partners in the booth over the years, most notably Michael Kay (now the team’s longtime play-by-play man on the YES Network) and Suzyn Waldman, who has called games with him since 2005.

After having been at it for so long, Sterling has his share of both fans and detractors. His over-the-top and distinct home run calls for each Yankee player have won him both praise and derision, and his tendency to occasionally get calls wrong has attracted criticism as well. However, no matter their opinions of his style, Sterling was the voice of the Yankees for multiple generations of fans. Thanks to his longevity and distinctive broadcast style, he will be an indelible figure in the orbit of the Yankees for years to come.

Sterling’s more memorable home run calls through the generations include those for Bernie Williams (“Bern baby Bern!”), Derek Jeter (El Capitan!) Hideki Matsui (A thrilla by Godzilla!), Gio Urshela (…the most happy fella!), and Aaron Judge (A Judgian blast! All rise, here comes the Judge!). It’s truly a shame that Yankees fans will never hear “Bye Bye Berti!” for a Jon Berti home run. That call appeared inevitable given Sterling’s knack for antiquated Broadway references.


Photo Credit: © Bob Karp/Staff Photographer/ USA TODAY NETWORK / USA TODAY NETWORK


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