When and if Aaron Judge breaks Roger Maris’s American League record of 61 home runs this season, New York Yankees‘ fans can rest assured that John Sterling will be on the call.
Earlier this season, it was announced that Sterling (seen above on a Real Sports segment in 2019) was finally ready to accept a reduced workload by sitting out a few road trips. The 84-year-old broadcaster categorized it as an opportunity to “recharge my batteries.” But with Judge chasing history, Sterling is canceling the lone break left on his schedule.
Monday morning, Andrew Marchand of the New York Post reported Sterling will call all remaining Yankees’ games on WFAN this season. That’s despite Ryan Ruocco previously being scheduled to fill in for their road series against the Toronto Blue Jays. Sterling wanted the opportunity to call Judge’s pursuit of the American League home run record.
This was the first season where Sterling had prearranged games off worked into his schedule. The Yankees radio voice since 1989 has long been known as an iron man, working an impressive streak of 5,060 consecutive games that came to an end in 2019. But when Sterling agreed to take 25-30 games off this season, no one anticipated Judge adding a wrinkle to that decision with his current pursuit of history.
Ruocco was part of a rotating cast of fill-in announcers that included Brendan Burke, Justin Shackil and Rickie Ricardo this season. And at this point in their careers, Ruocco is the better play-by-play voice. But as the long-time voice of the Yankees, Sterling deserves the opportunity to be behind the mic for what will be a memorable call in franchise history.
Surely, Ruocco would love the chance to call Judge’s pursuit of the American League home run record. But as a lifelong Yankees fan, the younger broadcaster with a budding career had to know there was a chance Sterling would reclaim the mic to ensure he says “All rise! Here comes the Judge!” for home runs 60, 61 and 62.