Yankees Icon John Sterling Discusses Retirement Choice

A new chapter unfolds for a Yankees broadcasting legend.

by Nouman Rasool
Yankees Icon John Sterling Discusses Retirement Choice
© Mike Stobe/Getty Images

John Sterling, the renowned voice of the New York Yankees, announced his retirement effective immediately, shocking fans and the sports community alike. The decision, confirmed by Sterling and the Yankees shortly after hints of his departure surfaced, marks the end of an era for baseball broadcasting.

During a heartfelt conversation with WFAN's afternoon hosts Evan Roberts and Tiki Barber, Sterling shared insights into his decision. "If I were smarter, I would have stepped down at the start of spring," he confessed. The 85-year-old broadcaster reflected on the peace he found in the off-season, having thoroughly enjoyed his life away from the microphone since the Yankees missed the playoffs last October.

Sterling's Iconic Partnership

Sterling, who began his tenure with the Yankees in 1989, has been a staple of New York sports. In recent years, he scaled back his workload, allowing Justin Shackil and Emmanuel Berbari to cover most road games.

His long-standing partnership with Suzyn Waldman, another iconic figure in New York sports broadcasting, lasted 23 years until this recent development. Speaking about his retirement on various platforms, including television and radio broadcasts of the Yankees, Sterling expressed a simple, poignant reason for his decision: "I just don’t want to do any more work.

I’ve worked for 64 years, and soon I'll be 86. It's time." He reassured fans about his health, dispelling rumors of serious issues but admitting to feeling general fatigue. A tribute to Sterling's illustrious career is scheduled for this Saturday at Yankee Stadium before the game against the Tampa Bay Rays, where he will also make an appearance in the WFAN radio booth.

Reflecting on his future plans, Sterling shared his enthusiasm for enjoying games as a spectator, planning to indulge in watching and listening to all Yankee and New York Mets games, along with national broadcasts on Turner and ESPN.

Over his career, Sterling called an impressive 5,060 consecutive games from 1989 until 2019, and 211 postseason games, totaling over 5,420 regular-season games. Despite the Yankees' strong start this season, Sterling feels confident and content with his decision, looking forward to enjoying his retirement on his own terms.

As he summed up his feelings about stepping away, Sterling noted, "I've lived the life I want since last October. Now, I can enjoy dinner anytime with my kids." His departure represents not just the end of a broadcasting career but also the beginning of a well-deserved rest for one of baseball's most enduring voices.