Longtime Yankees announcer John Sterling to miss game for first time since 1989
New York Yankees fans who plan to listen to the radio broadcast of the four games leading up to the All-Star Game might be incredibly confused — if not distraught — when the voice they hear is not that of John Sterling.
Sterling, who has been the Yankees’ play-by-play announcer for WFAN for 30 years, told Andrew Marchand of the New York Post that he is taking a four-game hiatus beginning on Thursday, which happens to be his 81st birthday.
“For the moment, I’m a little under the weather,” Sterling said. “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.”
By stepping away for New York’s four-game series against the Tampa Bay Rays, Sterling will be able to take several days off around the All-Star break. He plans to return for the second half of the season and says WFAN executives encouraged him to take time off to focus on his health. Ryan Ruocco of ESPN/YES will replace him temporarily and call games alongside Suzyn Waldman, Sterling’s longtime partner.
As Marchand notes, Sterling missed two games due to the death of his sister during his first season calling games for WFAN in 1989. He has not missed a game since.
Sterling still appears to have plenty of passion for his job, as he even unveiled a new home run call for Giancarlo Stanton last season. He’s been with the Yankees through some of their most memorable championship runs, so fans are surely hoping he feels better after taking some time off.