Suzyn Waldman John Sterling YES Network Screengrab: YES Network

John Sterling’s retirement sent shockwaves throughout Major League Baseball, but it didn’t come as a surprise to his partner of more than 20 years. Suzyn Waldman reacted to Sterling’s retirement, reflecting on a great career but also understanding that this didn’t come out of left field.

Recalling their first meeting in 1987, Waldman told YES Network’s Meredith Marakovits and the viewers at home that she and Sterling struck up a friendship when she was doing updates on WFAN and he came in as a guest host. Waldman described a unique first impression: Sterling conducted the talk show with his hand in his ear while standing up. Despite the unconventional scene, she found him to be a “very interesting character.”

“But boy, was he good,” she said.

“He stood up for four years doing a talk show, and he was interesting,” Waldman said regarding her first impression of Sterling. “And he knew what I was talking about when I made musical references. And we had conversations about theatre and books and all these things. It was great. And obviously, the past 20 years, nothing will ever be the same.”

The very same spark that made him such a captivating presence on air, Waldman reflects, is what defines him as the most unique character she’s ever encountered.

“He’s the most unique human being I’ve ever met in my life,” Waldman added. “The biggest compliment I can ever give anybody is that he’s an original. There will never be another John Sterling. There just can’t be. And that’s the biggest compliment. Every day was a unique, funny, strange, wonderful experience.”

And part of that experience was some of those legendary calls that defined his career.

“There’s a couple because I know the stories about them,” she said. “One of my favorite ones, is he got a letter from somebody that wanted him to stop saying ‘A-Bomb from A-Rod.’ And then A-Rod told him that his mother loved it, and so John said, ‘Well if A-Rod’s mother loves it, I’m not gonna stop it.’ And the other one, I loved ‘Georgie juiced one,’ and obviously, ‘Robbie Cano, don’t cha know?’ But the first one, I’ll never forget ‘Bern, baby, Bern,’ because it just came out so instinctively, and it was just great.”

Marakovits chimed in with her favorite moment: Sterling’s legendary call for Yankees wins, “Ballgame over! The Yankees win. The-e-e-e-e Yankees win!” This call has been synonymous with Yankees baseball for decades. Waldman, however, admitted that she’d never seen Sterling deliver it live. Apparently, she always headed downstairs before the games ended, missing the iconic call entirely.

Even today, she hasn’t witnessed it live. And unfortunately, she never will.

“I hope everyone appreciates who he is and what he gave to this team,” said Waldman. “I hope it’s as emotional for him as it is for me and everybody else. Just think, there’s three generations that have grown up listening to John Sterling. And just the emails and texts I’ve got from people all over the country — people I don’t even really know. I know he’s going to love it. He’s very emotional. And I hope he just has a wonderful day. And he is allowed to enjoy the rest of his life.”

[YES Network on X]

About Sam Neumann

Since the beginning of 2023, Sam has been a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. A 2021 graduate of Temple University, Sam is a Charlotte native, who currently calls Greenville, South Carolina his home. He also has a love/hate relationship with the New York Mets and Jets.