John Sterling, Yankees' legendary broadcaster, has decided to call it a career

NEW YORK – That voice.

That unmistakable, indelible, one-of-a-kind voice.

John Sterling is from an age when baseball announcers had distinct personalities, instantly identified by a greeting, or a catchphrase, or a home run call.

In his 36th season as the Voice of the Yankees and nearly 65 years in broadcasting, Sterling confirmed to The Record and that he has decided to call it a career. The Yankees said the retirement is effective immediately and he would be recognized in a pre-game ceremony on Saturday.

Sterling had already planned a limited schedule in 2024, taking off most road games except those at the nearest East Coast cities.

Yankees' legendary broadcaster John Sterling.
Yankees' legendary broadcaster John Sterling.

Sterling, 85, made the Yankees’ opening road trip to Houston and Arizona, and he worked the first home series at Yankee Stadium before concluding that it was time to yield the mic.

Suzyn Waldman is working this road trip with Emmanuel Berbari and Justin Shackil, who could presumably handle most of the play-by-play in Sterling’s absence.

Sterling hadn’t tired of the games or his interactions with fans eager to hear his latest personalized Yankees home run calls, especially the new Juan Soto call.

But over the past few years, Sterling grew weary of the road trips and preferred time spent at home and with his family.

During his Yankees years, the distinct Sterling style – from the personalized home run calls to his signature ‘Thhhhhhhuh Yankeeeeees Win’ – were a part of each broadcast.

Sterling came of age when the radio announcers of Major League baseball teams wore jackets, ties and overcoats, pitched ads for Ballentine beer and Lucky Strike and could be heard on transistors throughout the city.

Yet, Sterling remained very much of this era, relevant to the Yankees Universe in 2024, some 36 years after arriving in the Bronx, and his dream job of calling Yankees games.

Before that, Sterling had a career in New York calling the play by play for Islanders and Nets games, and hosted a sports talk show on WMCA, a forerunner of what is now a 24/7/365 format.

When Sterling finally took a few days off in the summer of 2019, it was a newsworthy event. That ended Sterling’s streak of broadcasting games that began in 1981, dating to his days calling games for the Atlanta Hawks and Atlanta Braves.

This article originally appeared on John Sterling: Yankees legendary broadcaster is retiring