John Sterling, Legendary Yankees Broadcaster, Announces Retirement.

John Sterling, the iconic radio voice of the Yankees, announced on Monday that he is leaving the booth after more than thirty years, effective immediately. The revelation that the 85-year-old Sterling will likely retire, citing health concerns, was leaked by The Athletic, prompting the Yankees and Sterling to announce the move. For 64 years, Sterling has worked as a broadcaster.

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John Sterling on Immediate Retirement:

The season has started for the Yankees sizzling hot, but Monday marked the unplanned end of an era in the Bronx. John Sterling, a longstanding Yankees radio commentator, announced his retirement immediately after a 36-year tenure as the radio spokesperson for the sport’s most prominent brand.

Not many radio play-by-play commentators reach as broad a national audience as Sterling did. Still, he called many great moments during one of the Yankees’ most excellent runs in their illustrious history. With Sterling in charge of the microphone, New York won five championships and was part of the team’s winning runs of 32 straight seasons.

Sterling’s distinctive home run yells, customized for every Yankees player, also contributed to his rise to national notoriety. Sterling gave each Yankee their time, whether “A thrilla from Godzilla” for Hideki Matsui or “An A-bomb for A-Rod” for Alex Rodriguez. Although Sterling has announced his retirement, he will be celebrated by the team and its supporters on Saturday when he returns to Yankee Stadium. Look at Sterling’s career and the reasons behind his midseason retirement.

Why is John Sterling Retiring?

Sterling only referred to himself as “a very blessed human being” and stated that he would “leave very, very happy,” not explain his choice made on Monday. In a statement, the Yankees expressed their gratitude for Sterling but did not explain why the radio icon was leaving.

Sterling’s departure is reportedly due to “health concerns,” per a story from The Athletic. All that Sterling said of himself was that he was “a very blessed human being” and that he would “leave very, very happy,” without offering any justification for his decision from Monday. The Yankees thanked Sterling in a statement, but they did not elaborate on why the radio legend departed. According to a report from The Athletic, “health concerns” are the reason behind Sterling’s departure.

Although it makes sense for Sterling to retire at his age, the announcement was unexpected, given that the season only started a little over three weeks ago. Two weeks prior, Sterling told Spectrum News that he wasn’t prepared to retire, saying, “I should not retire as long as I can still do it, but I’m working far fewer games, which is a big thing.” We’ll see what this year brings, then. And it’s okay if this turns out well. If not, we’ll see.

Unless Sterling had another explanation, he could have just recognized he couldn’t handle the job any longer. Over the weekend, Yankees supporters may anticipate hearing more from him.

John Sterling Age:

On July 4, Sterling, currently 85, will turn 86. It’s uncommon for a broadcaster to continue working well into their 80s, but Sterling managed it. Even though Sterling occasionally made blunders that made news, he was nonetheless quite good at incorporating narratives into play-by-play calls overextended games.

Not far behind the famous Vin Scully, who called Dodger games until he was eighty-eight, came Sterling, who retired on Monday at eighty-five.

John Sterling Replacement:

Justin Shackil and Emmanuel Barberi, who were previously slated to call most away games this season with veteran color commentator Suzyn Waldman, will take Sterling’s position.

At 37 and 24, respectively, Shackil and Barberi bring a significantly younger vibe to the WFAN radio booth. When they take over with Waldman in 2023, there won’t be much of an adjustment period because they have previously worked on several games.

The Career of John Sterling:

From 1989 until 2019, Sterling called 5,060 straight Yankees radio games, a record. He never missed a game until he decided to take a day off close to his 81st birthday five years ago.

Due to age, Sterling had to take a further step back in 2022, which forced the broadcast star to cut back on his schedule. In 2023, he missed many weeks of work due to sickness.

Even though Sterling has played his final game of the season, no player in the sport is likely to ever surpass his 30-year stretch of more than 5,000 games without a loss.

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