John Sterling reportedly to retire as Yankees radio broadcaster

Play-by-play announcer expected to announce retirement Friday, per reports
Yankees' legendary broadcaster John Sterling

Syndication Northjersey
Yankees' legendary broadcaster John Sterling Syndication Northjersey / Bob Karp/Staff Photographer / USA TODAY
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New York Yankees longtime radio play-by-play announcer and iconic franchise voice John Sterling is expected to announce his retirement during a press conference Friday, according to Andrew Marchand of The Athletic.

The 85-year old Sterling, who has been broadcasting Yankees games on the radio since 1989 – then for WABC Radio, now for WFAN – is expected to step away from the booth due in large part to ongoing health concerns in recent years. Joel Sherman of The New York Post substantiated Marchand's report, adding that the working plan “right now” is for Sterling to step away and make his announcement Friday at Yankee Stadium.

Growing up in Manhattan, Sterling had a fascination for the elite entertainers of his era, which helped formulate a theatrical presentation that he would later incorporate into his work, eventually landing back home in the late 1980s. Sterling has carved his own place in New York lure for his distinct calling style, unorthodox delivery at times, exuberance and enthusiasm, and propensity for idiosyncrasy and uniqueness.

“It is high! It is far! It is gone!”

“Ballgame over! Yankees WIN! THEEEEEEEEEE YANKEES WIN!”

Sterling is most well-known for his association with the organization’s primary television play-by-play announcer for the YES Network, Michael Kay, for almost 10 years, and since 2005, Suzyn Waldman; three decades of success, including seven American League pennant-winning teams and five World Series champions (1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2009). He has also shared the Yankees’ broadcast booth with Jay Johnstone, Joe Angel and Charley Steiner.

On March 19, 2022, the Yankee Entertainment and Sports Network was officially launched. Since, Sterling has become an integral part for Yankees’ programming on the YES Network, including a mainstay and voiceover for Yankeeography and Yankees Classics.

Sterling broadcasted 5,420 regular-season games, but more impressively, added 211 total postseason games to his resume. A majority of those calls came on the aforementioned, WFAN.

In recent years, Sterling experienced well-documented personal trials and tribulations, assisted by the Yankees and WFAN community and family. He was among hundreds of displaced residents after a fire destroyed the Avalon at Edgewater complex building he resided in back in January 2015. Yankees Spanish broadcaster Rickie Ricardo also helped Sterling after his car was stranded following flooding from Hurricane Ida back in 2021.

Despite more recent setbacks, Sterling’s extended track record showing up for work is something Yankees fans have always appreciated him for. Justin Shackil, who was named Sterling’s primary substitute before the 2023 season, has filled in for the legend in recent years.

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Joe Calabrese


Joseph Calabrese is an avid New York sports fan, who has previously made stops at and worked for major sports leagues and companies, including NBC Sports, CBS Sports and Bettor Sports Network. He is a huge Yankees fan and can be found on X: @JCalabrese1. He also co-hosts the "You Know I'm Right" podcast with fellow media member Nick Durst.