July 4 – Happy Birthday John Sterling

John_SterlingThe phrase “You either love him or you hate him” may just have been coined for today’s Pinstripe Birthday Celebrant. I love the guy. In fact, the one thing I regret about being able to watch every Yankee game in high def on a big screen is that I no longer listen to them on the radio unless I happen to be in the car when they’re playing. That means I don’t get to listen to John Sterling do his stuff, often enough.

I admit, he’s a lot more fun to listen to when the Yankees are winning but if I’m forced to “listen” instead of “watch” the Bronx Bombers play a game, I appreciate the fact that Sterling and his booth partner, Suzyn Waldman keep me entertained with their broadcast styles and idiosyncrasies.

Sterling is a native New Yorker (born July 4, 1938). He got his start as a game announcer in Baltimore, doing Bullets basketball and Colts football games. He came back to New York with WMCA, where he did Nets and Islander games and then migrated to Atlanta and commentated for the Hawks and Braves. He joined the Yankee radio booth in 1989 and has a Gehrig-like streak going of not missing a Yankee game during the past 23-plus seasons he’s been on the job.

What I find real hard to understand is the level of animosity that exists among Sterling haters and detractors. There are actually blogs and web sites devoted to criticizing and making fun of Sterling’s gaffes and calls. Some guy named Phil Mushnick who writes for the NY Post seems to have dedicated his column’s editorial mission to trying to convince whoever happens to read it that Sterling should be fired. Talk about a waste of newsprint!

As far as I’m concerned, baseball is and always will be a game. Games are supposed to be fun. Yankee games are one of the great joys in my life and Sterling’s great broadcasting voice, signature calls and his unique schtick make those games even more enjoyable. Many may roll their eyes and make believe they think its corny but I know the majority of Yankee fans absolutely love to hear Sterling shout, “Inning over. Ballgame over. The Yankees win! Thuuuuuuuuuuuuuh Yankees win!”

So Happy Birthday John Sterling, happy birthday America, and happy birthday to this former Yankee owner, this former Yankee pitcher, and this former Yankee utility infielder too.



  1. berniebrew

    Wow some big names today on July 4th what can you say George Steinbrenner like or not like him , he changed baseball ownership and he was a passionate leader who did what he wanted to. As for radio announcer John Sterling I’d like to hear him say Yankees lose Yankees lose ooh Yankees lose after a tough loss. Ibet in sorrow it would sound almost exactly the same lol. Have a great 4th of July Michael and best wishes. Badgerbrat/berniebrew

  2. Rich Looby

    Agree Mike. Have always wondered the high level of dislike. Well written piece as usual. Enjoy the holiday.

  3. Marty T

    I couldn’t agree with you more, Mike on your take of John Sterling. I love the guy!!! After a big win, I find myself in the garage (can’t get Yankee radio in the house) to listen to the post game highlights so I can hear Sterling’s home run calls one more time . . . and this is usually after 11:00pm!! And, as far as his detractors go, 99% of the time, Sterling is right on and tells the game like it is. Funny how Phil Rizzuto was beloved and his mistakes were just attributes to his personality, but JS is gets treated is such an opposite manner. That being said, Happy Birthday to John and many, many more!!

    • Rich Looby

      Great stuff Marty. Get John to announce the fireworks. ” It is HIGH…It is FAR….it is…HAPPY 4TH!!

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