John Sterling (born John Sloss; July 4, 1938) is an American sportscaster best known as the radio play-by-play announcer of Major League Baseball's New York Yankees. Sterling called 5060 consecutive Yankees games, beginning in 1989, before taking an 8-day (4-game) break in July 2019.
John Sterling in 2010
|New York Yankees|
|Born: July 4, 1938|
Sterling grew up on Manhattan's Upper East Side, in the East 80s. He was the son of advertising executive Carl H.T. and Gladys (Hodrov) Sloss. According to the 1940 U.S. Census, John was one year old and living with the family in Manhattan when the census was taken on April 4. He briefly attended Moravian College, Boston University, and the Columbia University School of General Studies before leaving school to begin his career in radio at a small station in Wellsville, New York.
Sterling began his broadcasting career in Baltimore, where he served as the play-by-play announcer for the then-Baltimore Bullets for the 1970–71 NBA season. He also did play-by-play for Morgan State University football, a role that he held from 1971 to 1978.
Sterling came to New York broadcasting as a talk show host with WMCA in 1971. He later served as the radio voice for the WHA's New York Raiders, the WFL's New York Stars, the NHL's New York Islanders (where he was paired with Bob Lawrence), and the ABA/NBA's New York/New Jersey Nets (where he was paired mainly with Mike DeTomasso). Sterling also did a stretch with the Yankees as pre-game host on WMCA and WINS radio, as well as co-host on cable segments with Mel Allen.
From 1975 through 1980, Sterling announced Nets and Islanders games for WMCA, WVNJ, WOR-TV, and SportsChannel New York, continuing his WMCA talk program until 1978. After his initial stint in New York, Sterling spent nine years in Atlanta hosting a sports call-in show on WSB radio and covering the Braves (1982–1987) and Hawks (1981–1989) for Turner Sports.
In 1989, Sterling returned to New York to broadcast the games for the Yankees on WABC radio. He has been with the Yankees ever since, currently calling games on WFAN radio and its affiliates in the New York Yankees Radio Network. Since 2005, he has been paired with Suzyn Waldman; past announcing partners include: Jay Johnstone (1989–1990), Joe Angel (1991), Michael Kay (1992–2001), and Charley Steiner (2002–2004). In 2013, the Yankees announced a move to WFAN for ten years, and Sterling was retained. He is currently under contract through at least the 2019 season.
On September 20, 2018, as part of a promotion called “Rivalry in the Booth”, Sterling and Red Sox radio broadcaster Joe Castiglione switched places in the fourth inning. Sterling took his first days off since 1989 from July 4, 2019 until July 7, 2019.
Sterling's association with the Yankees is not limited to announcing live games over the radio. He is also host of the YES Network's Yankeeography series, which produces biographies of New York Yankees. Among several nominations, Sterling has received two Emmy Awards for the series. He also hosts the introductions and recaps for Yankees Classics. In addition, Sterling has a nightly commentary feature on WCBS-TV newscasts called "Sterling on Sports", in which he gives his take on a recent sporting event or sports news item. This commentary airs nightly during the 6:15 PM sports report.
Sterling and former broadcasting partner Michael Kay commonly work together representing the Yankees. They announce the annual Yankees' Old-Timers' Day. They have presided at the "Key to the City" ceremonies following Yankee World Series victories in 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2009. The pair often serve as masters of ceremonies on and off the field for major Yankee events, including the 2000 ticker-tape parade held in the Yankees' honor after their World Series win. Sterling has emceed several Yankees pre-game ceremonies including the number retirements of Jorge Posada, Andy Pettitte, Bernie Williams, Tino Martinez, Joe Torre, Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera's number retirement in 2013 and Monument Park induction (2016), and the 20th anniversary of the Yankees' 1996 World Series victory in 2016.
Sterling has several idiosyncrasies that mark his broadcasts as distinctive, very unusual, if also divisive. In addition to a colorful vocal personality, Sterling has distinguished himself for sometimes characterizing plays differently than they may appear and for his announcing errors, habits that spark high feelings in fans and lead to comparisons with announcers like Phil Rizzuto. 
Following the final out of a Yankees victory, Sterling calls "Ballgame over! Yankees win! Theeeeeee Yankees win!" The length of the word "the" is held longer after dramatic victories, as well as after victories resulting in championships (which Sterling also punctuates by saying the name of whichever series is over). It has been played over the public address system at Yankee Stadium after every Yankees victory for the past several seasons, right before Frank Sinatra's cover of "Theme from New York, New York" is played. The phrase evolved from Sterling's call of Mel Hall's game-winning three-run homer in the ninth inning on May 27, 1991, to give the Yankees a dramatic Memorial Day win over the Boston Red Sox.
For back to back home runs, especially homers from opposite sides of the plate, Sterling references Harry Belafonte's "Zombie Jamboree" by saying "it's a back to back! ... and a belly to belly!" In addition, sometimes before a pitch he will say "theeeeeee pitch", lengthening the word the. If a batter swings and misses, Sterling will often say "cuuuuut on-and-missed", elongating the word cut, followed by on-n-miss pronounced as one quick word. After a strikeout swinging, he says "STRUCK HIM OUT SWINGING!", and for a strikeout looking he calls "STRIIIIKE THREE!", elongating the 'I' in strike.
Sterling is heavily criticized in the media, with over 100 websites dedicated to denigrating his style and calls. Many baseball writers and websites have ranked him the worst or close to the worst of current baseball radio announcers. Much of the criticism stems from calling balls home runs that are not home runs, mixing up fair and foul balls, and his personalized home run calls, which some people view as "over-the-top" or "too much". Regularly criticized by Craig Carton and Phil Mushnick for his inaccurate calls, Mushnick has called him a "dishonest, self-promoting clown". He has also been heavily criticized for making the call of the game more about himself than the play on the field with over the top excitement for routine plays or insignificant events. Many of his critics further accuse him of blaming someone or something else for his confusion. He has also been consistently rated one of the most biased sportcasters in the industry.
The New York Times has described John Sterling as "frequently awful and laughable", often miscalling plays or not describing a play accurately – blaming confusion on the field or other reasons. This is in despite of the fact that other announcers called the same play with almost complete accuracy for television or the opponents broadcast. The New York Daily News was also critical of Sterling's domineering of the booth, whereas most teams employ a two-man booth where duties are shared, Sterling does 100% of all play-by-play with his partner, Suzyn Waldman limited to ancillary commentary.
Sterling is a resident of Edgewater, New Jersey. He had previously resided in Teaneck, New Jersey. He was divorced in 2008 after 12 years of marriage to wife, Jennifer and is the father of four, including a set of triplets, born in 2000. In January 2015, fire destroyed the Avalon at Edgewater complex building. Sterling was one of hundreds of displaced residents.
At the new Yankee Stadium, they no longer will play 'Theme from New York, New York' after games.
John Sterling may refer to:
John Sterling (author) (1806–1844), British author, subject of a life by Thomas Carlyle
Major-General John Barton Sterling (1840–1926), his son and commander of the Coldstream Guards
John Sterling, character in Robert A. Heinlein's novel The Rolling Stones
John Sterling, player on 1890 Philadelphia Athletics baseball team, see 1890 Philadelphia Athletics season
John Sterling (sportscaster) (born 1938), radio announcer for the New York Yankees
John Sterling (American football) (born 1964), American football player
John Allen Sterling (1857–1918), American politician from Illinois
John Whelan Sterling (1816–1885), professor and administrator at the University of Wisconsin
John William Sterling (1844–1918), philanthropist, major benefactor to Yale University
John T. Sterling (1841–1920), Union Army soldier and Medal of Honor recipient
John E. Sterling Jr. (born 1953), U.S. Army generalSterling (surname)
Sterling is an English surname. Notable people with the surname include:
Sterling (baseball), American baseball player
Aljamain Sterling, Mixed martial artist
Andrew B. Sterling (1874–1955), American songwriter
Anne Fausto-Sterling (born 1944), American academic
Antoinette Sterling (1850–1904), Anglo-American vocalist
Barry Sterling (1943–2014), American businessman and politician
Brett Sterling (born 1984), American ice hockey player
Bruce Sterling (born 1954), American science fiction writer
Christopher H. Sterling (born 1943), American professor of media and public affairs
Claire Sterling (1919-1995), American author and journalist
Dana Sterling, fictional character from American TV series RoboTech
Debbie Sterling, founder and CEO of American toy company Goldieblox
Donald Sterling (born Donald Tokowitz, 1934), American businessman, attorney and basketball team owner
Donnie Sterling, American bassist
Edward Sterling (1773–1847), British journalist
Edward Boker Sterling (1851-1925), philatelist of Trenton, New Jersey
Ford Sterling (1883–1939), American actor
Fred E. Sterling (1869-1934), American politician
George Sterling (1869–1926), American poet
Georgie Sterling, Australian actress
Jan Sterling (1921–2004), American actress
Jeffrey Sterling, Baron Sterling of Plaistow (born 1934), British peer and former chairman of P&O
Jim Sterling (born 1984), English video game journalist and reviewer
John Sterling (author) (1806–1844), British author
John William Sterling (1844–1918), American philanthropist, corporate attorney, and benefactor to Yale University
John Sterling (sportscaster) (born 1938), American radio broadcaster
Leon Sterling, Australian computer scientist
Lester Sterling (born 1936), Jamaican musician
Linder Sterling (born 1954), British artist
Mindy Sterling (born 1953), American actress
Nici Sterling (born 1968), British porn star
Norm Sterling (born 1942), Canadian politician
Peter Sterling (born 1960), Australian rugby league player
Raheem Sterling (born 1994), English-Jamaican footballer
Robert Sterling (1917-2006), American actor
Ross S. Sterling (1875–1949), American politician
Thomas Sterling (1851–1930), American politician
Thomas Sterling (computing), American computer scientist
Tisha Sterling (born 1944), American actress, daughter of Robert Sterling and Ann Sothern
Wallace Sterling (1906–1985), Canadian-born American university president
William T. Sterling (1808–1903), American politician
|Selected current on-air staff|
|Selected former on-air staff|
|Division titles (17)|
|Wild Card titles (7)|
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