Legendary Yankees Announcer John Sterling Reveals Sudden Decision On Future

By Jason Hall

April 15, 2024

Kansas City Royals v New York Yankees
Photo: Getty Images

Legendary New York Yankees play-by-play radio announcer John Sterling announced his sudden retirement due to health concerns in a statement to the Athletic on Monday (April 15).

Sterling, 85, who served as the voice of the Yankees since 1989, will be honored with a ceremony at Yankee Stadium prior to the team's game against the American East Division rival Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday (April 20).

“I am a very blessed human being,” Sterling said. “I have been able to do what I wanted, broadcasting for 64 years. As a little boy growing up in New York as a Yankees fan, I was able to broadcast the Yankees for 36 years. It’s all to my benefit, and I leave very, very happy. I look forward to seeing everyone again on Saturday.”

The Yankees also shared an official statement honoring Sterling following his retirement decision.

"Fans find a certain comfort in the daily rhythms of baseball," the team said. "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. John informed and entertained, and he exemplified what it means to be a New Yorker with an unapologetic and boisterous style that exuded his passion for baseball, broadcasting and the New York Yankees. 

"There is no shortage of adjectives to describe John and what he means to this organization and our millions of fans around the world. But what makes John a goliath of the sports broadcasting world was how sacred he held his role as voice of the Yankees. Showing up to perform virtually every single day since 1989, he was a pillar for Yankees fans who relied on the comfort and familiarity of his voice to be the soundtrack of their spring, summer and fall. Given the tremendous care he had for the team and his performance on the air, it's not a stretch to believe that our fans live and die with every pitch because John Sterling did the same.

"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."

Sterling, who has called 5,420 regular season games, 211 postseason games and five World Series victories during his tenure, had served in a reduced role in recent seasons, traveling less due to health concerns, with Justin Shackil, 37, and Emmanuel Berbari, 24, serving as his radio broadcast replacements.

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