Longtime voice of Yankees John Sterling is retiring, effective immediately

The voice synonymous with the New York Yankees is calling it quits.

Longtime radio play-by-play announcer John Sterling is retiring, effective immediately. The Yankees announced his retirement Monday alongside a statement from Sterling. The team will hold a ceremony honoring Sterling prior to Saturday’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays.

“I am a very blessed human being,” Sterling said, via a statement. “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 Athletic’s Andrew Marchand reports that Sterling is stepping down to due “health concerns,” but the specifics of his health concerns weren’t noted. Sterling plans to be available to speak with media during his ceremony Saturday.

Sterling, 85, has called Yankees games since 1989, a span that includes 5,420 regular-season games and 211 playoff games. He was the voice of the Derek Jeter-era Yankees, who secured five World Series championships from 1996 to 2009. He was also on the WFAN mic for Aaron Judge’s record-setting 62nd home run in 2022.

In their announcement Monday, the Yankees described Sterling as “a Goliath of the sports broadcasting world.”

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,” the Yankees statement reads. … “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.”

Prior to joining the Yankees broadcast, Sterling spent nine years in Atlanta calling Hawks and Braves games for Turner Sports from 1981 to ’89. A New York native, he spent his early career hosting a sports talk radio show on WMCA from 1971 to ’78. He also called New Jersey Nets and New York Islanders games in the 1970s.

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