The windows in the WFAN booth were closed two hours before first pitch, but veteran Yankees radio voice John Sterling said he came prepared for the cold. He wore a sweater covered by a heavy overcoat and a scarf, with a muffler hat on standby.
“Don’t worry, I’ve done games where it’s been ultra, ultra, ultra — ulllttttrrraa — freezing,” Sterling said Tuesday.
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No one questions that.
If there’s anything Sterling has done a lot of, it’s call baseball games on the radio. This marks his 28th Opening Day as the Yankees’ radio play-by-play man. In fact, he hasn’t missed a regular-season or playoff game since he started this job in 1989. (By our unofficial count, that’s 4,305 consecutive regular-season games and another 100-some playoff games.)
“And many of them over the years were cold, too,” Sterling said.
Including his favorite season opener, back in 1996.
“My buddy arrived as manager, and it turned out to be such a great year. We had no idea what would happen when that season started, and look how it turned out,” Sterling said, referring to the ushering in of the Joe Torre era, which began a string of four World Series titles in five years.
“It snowed that day, too, right?”
Sterling wasn’t sure whether they would open the windows by gametime. First he would have to check with his radio partner Suzyn Waldman. But one thing’s for sure. That wasn’t even an option in the old Yankee Stadium. There were no windows in that booth.