New York Yankees Radio Broadcaster John Sterling. Patriots Kalafer Memorial 6 11 21 24 © Alexander Lewis / MyCentralJersey via Imagn Content Services, LLC

John Sterling’s retirement Monday after 35 years as the radio voice of the New York Yankees caught many people by surprise, even if he had recently hinted at retirement.

The Athletic’s Andrew Marchand reported Monday that Sterling would hold a news conference Friday to announce his future plans, and while the 85-year-old announcer did not confirm his retirement, he told Marchand, “We are going to have a press conference to do everything on Friday.”

The Yankees later issued a statement confirming Sterling is retiring “effective immediately.”

Many fans are disappointed Sterling didn’t get to call one more game, for old time’s sake, but even without a final farewell, the tributes to Sterling flowed Monday. The crosstown New York Mets’ SNY TV booth paid tribute to the veteran broadcaster early in Monday’s game against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

“For 36 years in the Yankees booth and countless other assignments before that, John was a unique voice of baseball and an entertainment act all onto himself,” play-by-play man Gary Cohen started.

“(He had) just the greatest chops, his voice was just so great to listen to,” analyst Ron Darling added.

“I’ll just add he’s a consummate gentleman, just a wonderful man,” analyst Keith Hernandez said.

“He was one of a kind, and we love him,” Cohen said.

Yankees legend Derek Jeter checked in with a tribute on X/Twitter.

“Congrats to John Sterling on an amazing career. I’ve had the pleasure of listening to and working with John for decades. He is a major part of Yankee history and will be greatly missed,” Jeter posted.

Former Yankees star Jacoby Ellsbury seconded Jeter’s thoughts.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy noted Sterling’s “vibrant personality and commitment to his craft brought joy to millions.”

It’s really difficult to summarize the career of a beloved man who called more than 5,000 games and thrilled several generations of Yankees faithful, but fans did their best.


About Arthur Weinstein

Arthur spends his free time traveling around the U.S. to sporting events, state and national parks, and in search of great restaurants off the beaten path.