Foul ball mishap fails to keep John Sterling down as he resumes Yankees broadcast

John Sterling at Yankees booth on June 10, 2023 and with Michael Kay after a ball hit him in the head.

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NEW YORK —During Saturday night’s game against the Red Sox, John Sterling, the esteemed 84-year-old radio commentator for the Yankees, found himself caught up in the long-standing rivalry between the two teams. However, the announcer’s dedication to his Yankees booth remained unwavering despite an unexpected incident.

In the ninth inning of the Yankees’ 3-1 victory, a foul ball struck John Sterling in the head. It occurred when Justin Turner fouled off a pitch from Yankees reliever Clay Holmes with a runner on first base, a 3-2 count, and two outs. The ball ricocheted back over the netting behind home plate and ascended into the radio broadcast booth at Yankee Stadium, where John Sterling was stationed.

John Sterling got injured, but not out

John Sterling was struck by the baseball in his left eyebrow, but he demonstrated his commitment to calling the game by carrying on. Reports indicate that he is doing well despite the incident. While there was some minor bleeding, John Sterling assured everyone that he was fine and would return to the radio booth for the rubber match on Sunday night. He assertively stated that he will not be going on an injured list.

During that moment, John Sterling was without his trusted longtime analyst Suzyn Waldman. She had departed at the start of the inning to make her way downstairs for the postgame interviews.

Fans who were tuning in to the live broadcast were able to hear the incident as it unfolded. John Sterling expressed his discomfort by exclaiming, “Ow! Ow! Ow! It really hit me.” He also mentioned his surprise at the ball coming back toward him with such force.

Following the incident, John Sterling swiftly shifted his attention to the next pitch, which turned out to be a foul grounder, extending the at-bat. Eventually, Turner ended the game with a grounder to third base.

Despite the brief interruption, the Yankees radio voice quickly refocused on the 3-2 pitch to Turner, who ultimately grounded out, concluding the game.

Sterling is the most resilient man in New York

During the Yankees and Red Sox game, New York Yankees radio voice John Sterling found himself in a humorous moment.

The 84-year-old John Sterling, known for his remarkable dedication, had previously worked an impressive streak of 5,040 consecutive Yankees games from 1989 to 2019. However, in recent years, he has gradually reduced his workload and even missed a road trip to the West Coast.

John Sterling’s resilience was evident in this instance, especially considering his absence from 23 consecutive games due to a cold and attending his children’s graduations from May 11 to June 6. Since 1989, he has been the primary play-by-play voice for the Yankees.

Remarkably, John Sterling had not missed a single game since the day he started until July 2019. In recent years, he has opted for a lighter schedule, with plans to broadcast 130 out of the Yankees’ 162 regular-season games this season.

During Saturday’s incident, Emmanuel Berbari, a WFAN Yankees postgame show host, was present in the booth alongside John Sterling. As soon as they became aware of what had occurred, Berbari and another employee from the station promptly went to the stadium’s scoreboard booth and requested Band-Aids.

Berbari expressed relief and joy upon confirming that John Sterling was unharmed. According to him, John Sterling not only proceeded to announce the following pitch, but he also delivered the trademark exclamation on the final call, showcasing an impressive performance.

Berbari further mentioned that John Sterling made a lighthearted remark about the frightening incident after the game concluded. He added that it was the level of toughness required to be a Yankees broadcaster.

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