Legendary Yankees Broadcaster John Sterling Retires Amid Reported Health Concerns

Yankee fans are worried about John Sterling, whose retirement is reportedly due to health concerns.

Sarah Kester - Author

Apr. 16 2024, Published 6:09 p.m. ET

John Sterling, the longtime radio play-by-play announcer of the New York Yankees, is retiring, effective immediately. The news was confirmed on April 15, 2024, by both John, 85, and the team in a press release.

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His deep baritone voice has been synonymous with the Yankees since 1989. During his time behind the microphone, the Yankees have won five World Series titles. His illustrious career will be honored with a retirement ceremony at the Yankee Stadium on Saturday, April 20.

Keep reading to learn why he’s retiring and who’s rumored to be his replacement.

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John Sterling health update: Why did John Sterling retire?

Health issues are being reported as the reason behind John’s retirement, according to The Athletic. At this time, the specifics of the health concerns are not known. He plans on speaking with the media at his retirement ceremony at Saturday’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays. He had initially planned to call that game.

​​“I am a very blessed human being,” John said in a press release. “I have been able to do what I wanted, broadcasting for 64 years.

He continued: "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.”

Earlier this month, John foreshadowed his time inside the booth ending during an interview with The Athletic. When asked how much longer he plans to call the Yankee games, he replied, “Not very.”

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The Yankees reportedly offered John the opportunity to still work for the organization but in a smaller capacity. But he is choosing to walk away instead.

Before the retirement announcement, John had already begun to reduce his workload with the organization. He hasn’t called as many games in recent seasons and hasn’t traveled with the team as much.

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John stepping away from the booth is a major loss to the organization he has worked at for 36 years.

“Fans find a certain comfort in the daily rhythms of baseball,” the Yankees said in a statement. “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.”

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“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," the statement continued.

Who is John Sterling’s replacement?

It’s going to be difficult for fans to no longer hear John’s deep voice call games or say some of his signature phrases, such as “It is high, it is far, it is gone!”

Things will sound very different soon as the Yankees reportedly have John's replacement lined up. It’s expected to be Justin Shackil and Emmanuel Berbari, who have already filled in for John in the past. They will work alongside Suzyn Waldman, who has been calling games with John since 2005.

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