77WABC Pays Tribute to John Sterling After Retirement


(Bronx, NY) – Throughout Yankees history, there have been some great broadcasters behind the mic calling some of their biggest games. Mel Allen, Red Barber, Phil Rizzuto – and one of the more recent entrants – John Sterling.

The New York City native is 85-years-old afterall, so he’d likely get a kick out of being listed on the more “recent” side of the list. But he’s certainly also earned the right to kick back and enjoy his retirement, which officially started on a Monday night in April as Sterling’s beloved Yankees prepped for the start of a series in Toronto.

Yankees’ legendary broadcaster John Sterling.

For so many years it would have been Sterling working in the SkyDome radio booth, checking notes, and looking over stats. He broadcast an incredible 5,420 regular season games for the Yankees, and an additional 211 playoff games. After joining on to the Yankees broadcast team in 1989, it’s more than fair to say Sterling has been the voice of the team for an entire generation – 35 years strong.

After The Athletic first reported Sterling would soon announce his retirement, it was confirmed the broadcaster will join the WFAN radio booth on Saturday afternoon. Ahead of that day’s contest with the Tampa Bay Rays, Sterling will be honored with an on field ceremony.

Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

In a statement, the Yankees said: “Fans find a certain comfort in the daily rhythms of baseball. Day in and day out, season after season, and city after city, John Sterling used his seat in the broadcast booth to bring Yankees fans the heartbeat of the game, employing an orotund voice and colorful personality that were distinctly, unmistakably his own….We congratulate John on a remarkable and illustrious career. His contributions to this great game and to the Yankees franchise will echo long into the future.”

From there, others in Sterling’s baseball life chimed in. Including, of course, his longtime radio partner Suzyn Waldman. “Nothing will ever be the same. It can’t be,” Waldman admitted.

“Life goes on, and we all go on, but nothing will ever be the same. … Everything about him is unique. He’s one of a kind. There will never be another person like that, to have that kind of love for a team and that kind of love for his fan base. I hope Saturday that everybody shows him that. I hope people understand that he lived a dream that none of us really get to do.”

Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Spanning the 1989 and 2019 seasons, Sterling never missed a Yankees game. He broadcast an incredible 5,060 straight games – including every single appearance by legendary Yankees closer Mariano Rivera and longtime shortstop / captain Derek Jeter.

The incumbent captain, Aaron Judge, also shared his feelings at Sterling’s retirement, saying “My parents listen to the radio, and love Suzyn and John going back and forth,” Judge said. “Even going back to listening to some historic homers or big moments in Yankees history, hearing John there — he’s going to be missed.”

Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

From the visiting dugout at Rogers Center, Boone said “I’m bummed out about it; sad about it. But I certainly just want him to be in a good spot and healthy moving forward. I know that this is the right time and the best thing for John. He’ll be forever connected to the Yankees, and a voice for generations. In my own way, I imitate him at some point every day. He’ll be missed, and I’m looking forward to properly celebrating him this weekend.”

And no doubt so is the Yankees crowd. As they will say: Best of luck in retirement John. E-E-E-E-E-E-njoy the well earned rest.

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