Happy Birthday To MLB NY Yankees radio voice John Sterling, who turns 80 today.
Love him or hate him, when you listen to him these days, he is a marvel. The strength of his voice and his enthusiasm for his job are still present night-in and night-out, even though he hasn’t missed a Yankees game in nearly three decades.
The NY Post reports he sees no end in sight, and with his vision improved after offseason cataract surgery, there might not be.
“He is seeing the ball better this year,” said WFAN’s vice president of programming Mark Chernoff. “His vision is terrific. We are very pleased with how the broadcast sounds.”
Sterling’s style is loved by many and hated by some. No one can argue it is not unique. From his signature, “It is high, it is far, it is gone” to “Thuuuugh Yankees win” to his home run calls, he is, in the words of Yankees president Randy Levine, a “legend.”
|Sterling checks the stats|
Sterling does not have an email account, nor any use for the internet. To call him old-fashioned would not be fully accurate because there is a flair to his personality. He wears a suit to every game, even though he is on radio. All his quirks are done in such a confident manner that it makes him seem younger.
“The phrase is ‘sui generis,’ ” his now longtime radio partner Suzyn Waldman said. “He is unto himself. He is more comfortable in his own skin than anyone I have ever met in my whole life.”
He does have some modern amenities, but with old twists. He has satellite radio, but he keeps it locked on the Sinatra channel. He has mastered the use of his DVR so he can watch all the old movies he adores.
Sterling’s secret to longevity is a combination of genes, rest and exercise, he said. On his DNA, he said that is just good fortune and somehow he has been healthy enough to never miss a Yankees game because of his illness.
For the past three decades, Sterling has been in the booth, entertaining many, annoying some, but he is part of the great bond between radio baseball broadcasters as they are companions in cars and background at barbecues.