Reports: Legendary New York Yankees Broadcaster John Sterling Retiring Effective Immediately

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Legendary New York Yankees’ broadcaster John Sterling is retiring, reports The Athletic’s Andrew Marchand. The 85-year-old broadcaster is set to address his future during a Saturday afternoon press conference.


The New York Yankees. WFAN, and Sterling have confirmed the news.

An Upper Eastside native, Sterling joined the Yankees prior to the 1989 season as their lead voice on WABC Radio. He called an unbelievable 5,060 games from Opening Day 1989 through July 4, 2019, when he took a four-day hiatus from play-by-play duties. The Yankees’ legendary voice has been paired with a who’s who of color commentators including Michael Kay, Charlie Steiner, and Suzyn Waldman. His tenure with Waldman has lasted the longest, with the pair being partners since 2005. 

Sterling is best known, as most announcers are, for his unique ways of calling a baseball game including an extra emphasis on the long e sound. Case in point, Sterling’s signature call when the Yankees win a ballgame:

In addition to “theee Yankees win”, Sterling has a unique home run call for nearly every player such as his famous Alex Rodriguez home run call: “It’s an A-Bomb! From A-Rod!” In recent years, Sterling’s “all rise” quips for Yankees’ slugger Aaron Judge became a fan favorite “Sterling-ism.”


Sterling’s style wasn’t the favorite of everyone and he had his fair share of detractors including New York shock jock Craig Carton and New York Post columnist Phil Mushnick. But baseball more than any other professional sport is still made for the radio and because of that Sterling has endeared himself to nearly three generations of Yankees fans. For many, Sterling was the voice of their childhood, their summers, and other countless memories. 

In addition to his play-by-play duties, Sterling has served as emcee for multiple retirement celebrations including Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera. He also served as the host of multiple Yankees related television programs including YES Network’s Yankeeography, for which Sterling won two Emmy Awards. 

Prior to the Yankees, Sterling served as the play-by-play voice for the World Hockey Association’s New York Raiders and the National Hockey League’s New York Islanders. He also spent nearly a decade in Atlanta covering the Atlanta Braves and Atlanta Hawks for Turner Sports and WSB Radio.

Emmanuel Berbari and Justin Shackil are the likely replacements for Sterling. The pair have worked the majority of road games with Waldman serving as the color commentator. 

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