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Longtime Yankees radio play-by-play announcer John Sterling just returned to work after missing time with an illness, and he wasn’t going to let a stray foul ball knock him back out of the booth.

The 84-year-old was struck by a foul ball off the bat of Justin Turner during the final at-bat of the Yankees’ win over the Red Sox on Saturday. He said it glanced off his forehead and later told The Athletic that he suffered a cut on his eyebrow. 

“Ow! Ow! Ow! It really hit me. I didn’t know it was coming back that far,” Sterling said on the air as Clay Holmes was trying to close out the win.

Seconds later, Sterling was back in form. “And once again it will be a 3-2,” he said, putting his attention right back on the game.

Holmes retired Turner and sealed the win with Sterling still on the call.

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While Sterling scaled back his workload last season and has missed time due to health issues in recent years, he has earned a reputation for being an ironman. He had called 5,060 consecutive Yankees games before finally taking time off in 2019. The streak began in 1989.

The Yankees suffered their most recent losing season in 1992, and Sterling has been on the call for nearly every memorable moment for the franchise in the three decades since. 

Sterling recently missed about two weeks with what was described as an illness before returning to the booth Tuesday. Not many details were disclosed, but he told the New York Post that fans shouldn’t worry about him.

Considering the way he was able to shake off Saturday’s foul ball to the head, Sterling seems to be doing just fine for his age.

“I’m not going on the IL,” he told The Athletic after the game.

Indeed, he was back in the booth for the Yankees’ Sunday night game against the Red Sox.



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