For the first time in 30 years, John Sterling won’t be on the radio call for the New York Yankees on Thursday.
Sterling, known for his entertaining, sometimes over-the-top home run calls, confirmed to the New York Post that he will not make the trip to Tampa for the Yankees’ four-game series that leads into the All-Star break. It will mark the first time he is not on the air for a Yankees game since 1989, his first year in the role.
Sterling, who turns 81 on Thursday, admitted to the Post he has been feeling “a little under the weather.” Taking the Rays series off will give Sterling time to rest and gear up for the second half of the season. After the break, the Yankees have a 10-game homestand, beginning July 12 with a three-game set against the Toronto Blue Jays.
Ryan Ruocco of the YES Network will fill in for Sterling alongside Suzyn Waldman, Sterling’s broadcast partner since 2004. But before his break, Sterling will call the two-game Subway Series with the Mets on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Per the Post, executives at WFAN, the Yankees’ radio affiliate, have encouraged Sterling to take some time away from the booth so he is ready to roll for the stretch run of the 162-game season.
“For the moment, I’m a little under the weather,” Sterling told The Post. “I’ve put in the time. I want to feel better and they think this is the time for me to do it — and I agree.”
The only other time Sterling missed any games was in 1989 due to the death of his sister.
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