John Sterling reveals funny chat with Aaron Judge on his return

John Sterling returned to Yankees booth at Yankee Stadium on June 11, 2023, a day after a foul ball hit him in the head.

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NEW YORK – John Sterling returned to the Yankees booth on Sunday evening, just one night after being hit by a foul ball. Despite injuries visible on his left eyebrow and cheek, he appeared in good condition and showed no signs of significant harm. The announcer also revealed how he had a hilarious conversation with Aaron Judge after the injury.

The Yankees announcer expressed gratitude for the overwhelming support and kind messages he received from the Major League Baseball community. John Sterling mentioned that the incident with the baseball appeared more severe than it actually was.

During his encounter with Aaron Judge before Sunday’s game against the Red Sox. John Sterling assured the Yankees captain by saying he won’t be placed on the injured list.

“I wasn’t going on the IL. I told Aaron Judge that and he laughed.” – John Sterling disclosed with his usual wit.

It was a strange injury for John Sterling

The Yankees voice mentioned that he found it strange to be hit by a foul ball, noting that being a considerable distance away from home plate, one would assume the ball hitting him would have been catastrophic. However, John Sterling clarified that it wasn’t as severe as expected.

While broadcasting the game, 84-year-old John Sterling was commenting on the Yankees reliever Clay Holmes’ pitch to Boston’s Justin Turner. During the at-bat, Holmes threw a 3-2 slider that Turner fouled back, sending the ball in the direction of the broadcast area.

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

John Sterling provided an update during the broadcast, mentioning that the count was 3-2 and that the ball had been swung at and popped foul in the direction of the broadcast area. Afterward, a video shared by WFAN and later posted by the Yankees showed the moment when things took an unexpected turn. In the footage, the baseball can be seen bouncing into the broadcast booth with considerable velocity, hitting Sterling above his left eye.

John Sterling exclaimed in discomfort, repeatedly uttering “Ow! Ow! Ow!” while instinctively adjusting his eyeglasses. He mentioned that the baseball had struck him, expressing surprise at its unexpected return and that he was unaware it would come back from such a distance.

On his return, Boston’s Turner send him a hillarious message: “To John, no matter where you sit at a ballgame, you’re never safe!”

No IL break for John Sterling

Despite being struck by the baseball, John Sterling quickly readjusted himself and continued with his commentary without any interruption. Turner fouled off the subsequent pitch and proceeded to hit a ground ball to third baseman Josh Donaldson. Sterling delivered his customary catchphrase, exclaiming with enthusiasm, “Ballgame over! Yankees win! Theeeee Yankees win!”

Commenting on the incident, John Sterling expressed his surprise that he didn’t feel any pain despite being hit. He mentioned that after announcing “Fouled back,” he momentarily diverted his attention from the ball. In hindsight, the Yankees sportscaster acknowledged that he should have made an effort to catch the ball or prevent it from going past him.

After the incident, John Sterling was given a bottle of cold water to apply to his eyebrow, which had a small amount of blood on it.

While being interviewed by broadcaster Suzyn Waldman on the field, Kyle Higashioka asked about John Sterling’s well-being. In response, Sterling reassured that he was fine and had only a minor impact.

An illustrious career in broadcasting

John Sterling has been the Yankees’ radio announcer since 1989 and had an impressive streak of 5,060 consecutive games broadcasted, which ended in July 2019. This season, he had a brief absence of about three weeks due to an undisclosed illness and to attend his children’s graduation ceremonies.

According to him, he had been hit by a foul ball on a previous occasion back in 1991, during a game at Cleveland’s old Municipal Stadium.

John Sterling recalled that the broadcast booth had been positioned directly above the plate. He mentioned that during a game, a left-handed-hitting catcher named Eddie Taubensee hit a foul ball that came extremely close to hitting him. He added that a few years later, when he encountered Taubensee in the depths of Yankee Stadium while he was playing for another team, John Sterling shared the story with him. Taubensee jokingly responded, saying, that was the best ball he ever hit all year.

How do you see John Sterling’s performance at the Yankees booth? Leave your comment below.

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