The radio call of this weekend’s New York Yankees-Pittsburgh Pirates series at PNC Park will sound a lot different for Yankees fans.
Per the New York Post, both John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman will be absent from the team’s radio call on WFAN. It’s the first time both have been absent from a game since 1989.
Sterling has dialed back his schedule of road games this season, and a series in Pittsburgh featuring a pair of teams each 7.5 games out of their league’s final Wild Card berth wasn’t enough to send him on the road. Waldman has the series off for Rosh Hashanah.
The pair will be replaced by a much younger duo for the series. 36-year-old Justin Shackil, Sterling’s full-time backup, will call the series alongside Emmanuel Berbari, a 24-year-old who has been part of pregame and post-game coverage this season.
Shackil and Berbari’s combined age (60) is lower than either Sterling (85) or Waldman (77).
Infusing some fresh blood into the booth can only be a good thing, even if both Sterling and Waldman return next year (as they’re expected to do, per the Post). The Yankees and WFAN are at the point where they need to start considering long-term succession plans for both Sterling and Waldman, and Shackil and Berbari will get their crack at it this weekend.