Legendary Yankees radio voice John Sterling to retire; his unprecedented tenure to be recognized on Saturday, April 20, at Yankee Stadium

April 15th, 2024

The New York Yankees today announced that legendary Yankees play-by-play radio voice John Sterling, who has called 5,420 regular season Yankees games and 211 postseason Yankees games, is retiring effective immediately. He will be recognized in a pregame ceremony on Saturday, April 20, and will visit the WFAN booth during the game. Additionally, he will be made available to media in the Yankee Stadium Press Conference Room prior to the 1:05 p.m. matchup vs. Tampa Bay.

Sterling’s voice has been synonymous with the Yankees for multiple generations of Yankees fans since joining the club during the 1989 season. Known for his resonant tone, signature home run calls and Yankees victory call (“Ballgame over! The Yankees win … theeeeeee Yankees win!”), he called 5,060 consecutive games from September 1989 to July 2019. His final game this season was the Yankees’ 8-3 win vs. Toronto on Sunday, April 7.


“Fans find a certain comfort in the daily rhythms of baseball. Day in and day out, season after season, and city after city, John Sterling used his seat in the broadcast booth to bring Yankees fans the heartbeat of the game, employing an orotund voice and colorful personality that were distinctly, unmistakably his own. 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.

“There is no shortage of adjectives to describe John and what he means to this organization and our millions of fans around the world. But what makes John a goliath of the sports broadcasting world was how sacred he held his role as voice of the Yankees. Showing up to perform virtually every single day since 1989, he was a pillar for Yankees fans who relied on the comfort and familiarity of his voice to be the soundtrack of their spring, summer and fall. 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.

“We congratulate John on a remarkable and illustrious career. His contributions to this great game and to the Yankees franchise will echo long into the future.”


"Yankees radio will never quite sound the same without the signature voice, wit and humor of John Sterling. To generations of Bronx Bombers fans, he was a beloved companion that when you heard John, you knew it was time for baseball. Though he never wore the pinstripes, except of course for his fine tailored suits, he was one of the most colorful personalities in Yankees history and in all of New York City radio. All of us at WFAN tip our cap and salute our colleague and friend on a truly iconic career.”


“I am a very blessed human being. 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.”

A native New Yorker who grew up on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, Sterling joined the Yankees broadcast team in 1989 from Atlanta’s TBS and WSB Radio, where he called Hawks basketball (1981-89) and Braves games (1982-87). It marked a return to the town where he first achieved success, hosting a talk show on WMCA from 1971-78, and calling the Nets (1975-80) and Islanders (1975-78) for WMCA, WVNJ, WWOR-TV and SportsChannel.

Sterling also previously called Morgan State Football (eight years) and Washington Bullets basketball in 1981. In addition to his seven years at WMCA and a year at WSB in Atlanta, he has also hosted talk shows on WFAN and WABC in New York. Prior to missing the Yankees four-game series in Tampa Bay from 7/4-7/19 due to illness, he had not missed a broadcast of any kind since the fall of 1981.

As the host of the YES Network’s acclaimed Yankeeography series, Sterling has won 12 Emmy Awards since 2003. He has also been honored by the N.J. Sportswriters Association with its Radio-TV Excellence Award (1999) and was the winner of the 2001 Whitney Radio Jimmy Cannon Award. In addition, his call of a Jason Giambi home run on WCBS radio in 2002 was voted the “Best Baseball Call of the Year” in a poll conducted by MLB.com. In 2002, Sterling was also honored by the NY Air Awards for being a part of the best play-by-play team on radio. In 2020, Sterling was presented with the Governor’s Award by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

Sterling often served as a master of on-field ceremonies for major Yankees events and is well known for his emcee work at City Hall (with his former radio partner Michael Kay) at “Key to the City” ceremonies following Yankees World Series victories.

Sterling enjoys attending Broadway shows and boasts an extensive knowledge of the lyrics to many American pop standards. In 2007, he embarked on his own Broadway venture in a cabaret show titled Baseball and Broadway in which he both served as emcee and sang alongside Broadway talent.

In 2016, he was inducted, along with Suzyn Waldman, to the New York State Broadcasters Hall of Fame. At the annual BBWAA Awards dinner in January 2020, he received the Casey Stengel “You Could Look It Up” Award.

For the past 29 years, he has been a spokesman for the Leukemia Society of America. He enjoys reading, movies and swimming, and is the proud father of four children: daughter Abigail and triplets, Veronica, Bradford and Derek.