Ray Negron's Playball Weekly Blog

Like Mel Allan and the Scooter… John Sterling was joyfully heard

I was watching the Michael Kay show on the YES Network. Michael talked about being on the phone with John Sterling and being told that John had done his last call as the radio voice of the Yankees.

Michael had a very sad look on his face. This told me that we were witnessing the end of an era.

This reminded me of Mel Allan and his golden voice leaving the Yankees. It also reminded me of the wonderful Scooter Phil Rizzuto also leaving.

I felt very sad because it made me think about my own mortality in the baseball world.

I wasn’t particularly close to John but I always had a strong respect for him.

Off the field, I got to work with John twice. Once in 1985 in a motion picture called The Sluggers Wife in Atlanta. John got to play John doing the play-by-play for the Atlanta Braves and I was the star shortstop. Then 30 years later my children’s books were turned into an animated film called Henry & Me. John along with Michael Kay got to be broadcast partners one last time and as the executive producer, I was very proud of that. What made it so much fun was that we also had Bob Shepherd announce the Yankee players one last time.

I called John last night thinking that I would leave a message because I was sure his phone would be extremely busy. Well, you know what, surprisingly he answered the phone. With that great John Sterling voice he said… Well hello Ray Ray!

At that point, I got the chance to thank him for his kindness throughout the years.

We didn’t talk about why he was leaving, nor did I want to. I just wanted to be able to show appreciation for a true baseball legend that understood and understands what the true beauty of this great game is all about. I wanted to keep it short and sweet.

In my own way, I just wanted to say thanks for the memories.

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