Four frontrunners emerge to fill John Sterling’s iconic shoes in Yankees booth

John Sterling is with the mascot of Yankees' Double-A affiliate the Somerset Patriots.

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The iconic voice of the New York Yankees for over three decades has gone silent. John Sterling, whose booming baritone narrated countless Yankee victories for 36 years, has announced his retirement.

In a heartfelt statement, John Sterling expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to live out his childhood dream. “I have been able to do what I wanted, broadcasting for 64 years,” he said. He specifically highlighted the 36 years spent calling Yankees games, a position that undeniably fulfilled his lifelong passion. The long-time Yankees voice concluded by expressing his eagerness to reconnect with fans during a pregame ceremony scheduled for Saturday.

The Athletic’s Andrew Marchand reports that the search for John Sterling’s successor in the WFAN radio booth will be a deliberate one, with no immediate frontrunner.

Several names have emerged as potential replacements. Ryan Ruocco, known for his work as a primary NBA play-by-play announcer for ESPN and his contributions to YES Network, is a strong contender. However, his existing commitments could pose a challenge.

The Athletic reports that Ryan Ruocco, currently the backup broadcaster for Michael Kay on YES Network, is a strong contender. However, his existing commitments as ESPN’s No. 2 NBA play-by-play announcer and his work with the WNBA and women’s college basketball may limit his availability.


Another possibility is Brendan Burke, the current television voice of the NHL’s New York Islanders. Burke has experience filling in for John Sterling and also handles NHL and Big Ten football commentary, raising potential scheduling conflicts.


Currently, 36-year-old Justin Shackil and 24-year-old Emmanuel Berbari are sharing the booth with analyst Suzyn Waldman for the remainder of the season. While both have the opportunity to showcase their talents, a final decision is expected after the season concludes, according to Marchand.

Justin Shackil, another YES Network contributor, is currently in Toronto calling the Yankees series alongside analyst Suzyn Waldman. Shackil joined WFAN last year, taking over from Sweeny Murti as the Yankees reporter and fill-in play-by-play voice.


Offering a different perspective is Emmanuel Berbari. Berbari’s experience as the Yankees radio pre-and-postgame host, coupled with his previous play-by-play stint alongside Shackil during Sterling’s absence, makes him a strong candidate.

linkedin-Emmanuel Berbari

Replacing a legend like John Sterling is no easy feat. The Yankees will undoubtedly take their time in selecting the next voice to bring the excitement of Yankee baseball to their passionate fanbase.

John Sterling himself shed light on his decision during a WFAN interview with Evan Roberts and Tiki Barber following the retirement announcement. At 85 years old with 64 years dedicated to broadcasting, John Sterling simply felt it was time to step away and enjoy a well-deserved retirement.

The Yankees have indicated they will take their time in selecting John Sterling’s replacement. The search for the next voice to bring the excitement of Yankee baseball to fans is officially underway.

Waldman pays heartfelt tribute to John Sterling

Legendary broadcaster John Sterling’s voice will no longer grace the airwaves for the New York Yankees. The team officially announced Sterling’s retirement on Monday, marking the end of an era for Yankee fans.

“I knew this day was going to come and once he had said, ‘I can’t. I’m done,’ I just knew that was going to be it,’’ said Suzyn Waldman, John Sterling’s colleague for a long time. “You get to a certain age, and he deserves to enjoy the rest of his life.

“He’s got a daughter he has to walk down the aisle in a year. He’s got three kids who just graduated from college. I don’t want him to be tired,’’ she said. “I want him to be able to see his kids get married and have kids. It’s very important.’’

“He is an original, and there will never be another like him,” Waldman said on Tuesday. “Everything about him is unique. He’s one of a kind. You can’t even describe his personality because that would diminish it.’’

“He just knew about everything. He could talk about anything. He has a photographic memory,’’ said Waldman. “He likes what he likes. He loves theater. He loves books. He loves restaurants. He can quote Noel Coward.’’

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