Suzyn Waldman reflects on John Sterling's retirement: 'Nothing will ever be the same'

Gary Phillips, New York Daily News on

Published in Baseball

TORONTO – Standing outside the Yankees’ clubhouse on Monday afternoon, Suzyn Waldman politely declined to comment when approached by a few writers.

Reports of John Sterling’s retirement, linked to health concerns, had begun to circulate, but his radio partner of two decades didn’t want to address the matter until someone made it official. About 30 minutes later, the Yankees did exactly that, announcing that the 85-year-old Sterling will step away from the microphone, effective immediately.

“I am a very blessed human being,” Sterling, an Upper East Side native, said in a press release. “I have been able to do what I wanted, broadcasting for 64 years. As a little boy growing up in New York as a Yankees fan, I was able to broadcast the Yankees for 36 years. It’s all to my benefit, and I leave very, very happy.”

A little while after that statement came out, Waldman agreed to reflect on Sterling’s retirement from WFAN’s booth at Rogers Centre.

“To see it on paper is pretty final,” she said before the Yankees took on the Blue Jays. “I’ve known for quite a while, but it’s pretty final to see it on paper. That gets me emotional. I said to people before: nothing will ever be the same. It can’t be. Life goes on and we all go on, but nothing will be the same.”

Waldman, 77, took her time and collected he thoughts as she spent a few minutes answering questions about Sterling, who will hold a press conference this Saturday at Yankee Stadium. While her tone conveyed some sadness, she did not cry or tear up.


Rather, she spoke with reverence and appreciation for a man she has called her friend for years.

“We understood each other,” Waldman said. “We’ve been friends since 1987 when I was doing updates on WFAN and he came in and did a talk show. He stood up for four hours with his hand in his ear, and I said this is a really interesting human being. He just knew about everything. He could talk about anything. He has a photographic memory.

“He just knows things, and he knows more than everybody thinks he does.”

Sterling may be best known for his unique home run calls, which sometimes left fans and even players scratching their heads. But Waldman praised his baseball acumen while also mentioning his love for theater, reading and fine dining.


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