Syndication: The Record

The New York Yankees are about to lose a voice almost as notable as the legendary “Voice of God” Bob Sheppard. Longtime radio play-by-play man John Sterling is retiring, effective immediately, at the ripe old age of 85.

Bryan Hoch of reported the immediacy of Sterling’s retirement. Earlier in the afternoon, Andrew Marchand of The Athletic reported Sterling would address his future in a Friday press conference. Now, the press conference will be Saturday at Yankee Stadium along with a ceremony honoring Sterling before a game against the Tampa Bay Rays.

“I am a very blessed human being,” Sterling said in 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 Yankees also released a statement of their own, honoring the radio great.

It’s the end of an epic era of New York Yankees baseball. John Sterling came to the Yankees in 1989 after nine years calling Braves and Hawks games in Atlanta. The Yankees were then broadcast on WABC, and Sterling remained behind the mic during move to WCBS and the team’s current radio home, WFAN. He worked with a number of partners on color commentary, most notably YES Network play-by-play man Michael Kay and veteran reporter Suzyn Waldman. Sterling also spent three seasons alongside former ESPN anchor Charley Steiner.

In the meantime, Justin Shackil and Emmanuel Berbari will handle play-by-play duties alongside Waldman for the rest of the year.

Yankees radio simply won’t be the same without John Sterling. Yes, the individual home run calls for every batter got goofy and dumb with time. Was he on the same level as the great Vin Scully? Not by a long shot, but John Sterling is still an unquestionable New York legend.

From shouting “Bern, baby Bern” after every Bernie Williams homer. To “A thrilla by Godzilla” for Hideki Matsui. More recently, “All rise, here come the Judge” for the current Yankee captain and former MVP. Every player got their moment behind the mic through his lips, and the memories stayed.

John Sterling is riding off into the sunset. We can only hope Shackil, Berbari, or someone else can fill his enormous shoes.

We’ll close the only way we can for the man:


Josh Benjamin has been a staff writer at ESNY since 2018. He has had opinions about everything, especially the Yankees and Knicks. He co-hosts the “Bleacher Creatures” podcast and is always looking for new pieces of sports history to uncover, usually with a Yankee Tavern chicken parm sub in hand.