New York Yankees radio broadcaster John Sterling poses for a...

New York Yankees radio broadcaster John Sterling poses for a photograph prior to a game between the Yankees and the New York Mets at Yankee Stadium on Thursday, Aug. 4, 2016 in the Bronx Borough of New York City. Credit: Jim McIsaac

TORONTO — A popular parlor game among Yankees fans for years has been trying to predict John Sterling’s home run calls for new players.

But Aaron Judge said it wasn’t just fans.

“The home run calls he comes up with . . . we’ll be sitting on the bus and we trade for somebody new or it’s somebody’s first game, we’d always go back and forth, ‘Hey, what’s John going to come up with this time?’  ” Judge said Monday after batting practice, a couple of hours after the Yankees announced that Sterling was retiring, effective immediately.

“What’s he going to use? The last name? The first name? How’s he going to do this? He always outsmarts us and comes up with something great that the fans love, we love as players listening to it. John’s a big part of this family and we’re going to miss him.”

Judge, of course, didn’t initially hear how Sterling called his first career home run — which came in his first career at-bat, Aug. 13, 2016, at Yankee Stadium, a towering blast to centerfield off Rays righthander Matt Andriese that landed in the netting overhanging Monument Park.

It was the first of many “All rise! Here comes the Judge!” calls by Sterling.

“Hearing my first home run call from him,” Judge said of his favorite Sterling memory. “As a kid, you’d watch old Yankees games, you’d hear the old broadcasts, and getting a chance to hear your own name for your first one, that was pretty special. I know my dad replayed it over and over again. He was at the Stadium [that day], but I know he went back on YouTube and heard the call. Pretty special.”

For many years, Judge’s parents, Wayne and Patty, have listened to Yankees games on the radio, broadcast since 2005 by Sterling and Suzyn Waldman (who, incidentally, has no plans to retire anytime soon).

The two have provided a soundtrack for much of the life of second-year shortstop Anthony Volpe, who was born April 28, 2001, in Watchung, New Jersey, the son of a rabid Yankees fan. Volpe recently recalled his teen and preteen years, driving in the car with his father, Michael, listening to Sterling and Waldman on their way back from practices or games during the season.

“He was the mouthpiece for the games to the fans,” Volpe said Monday. “I think a lot of fans can attribute how much they love the team and how much they enjoyed the games because of him. I definitely thank him a lot for all the stuff he did and I’m sure a lot of Yankees fans [feel] the same.”

Yankees manager Aaron Boone hit one of the most famous home runs in franchise history — an 11th-inning walk-off shot on a knuckleball from Tim Wakefield that won Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS.

Sterling wasn’t on the mic for the 11th inning that night. Charley Steiner, a former Yankees radio announcer and a Dodgers broadcaster since 2005, had the call. Boone said he’s enjoyed getting to know Sterling over the years and, like some of his players, has made a point of listening to some of his work.

“Just an amazing, classic voice with so many classic calls,” Boone said. “I was telling Suzyn earlier, one of the things I love to do now is, any time we’ve had a game and if there’s big moments in the game or big plays in the game, I’ll go back to [listen] just to hear the call on those kinds of things.

“His voice is legendary, his calls have been legendary. I’m bummed out about it, sad about it, but certainly want him to be in a good spot and healthy. He’ll be forever, forever connected to the Yankees and a voice for generations.”

It  wasn’t just Yankees universe that reacted to the Sterling news.

Toronto broadcaster Dan Shulman, who started calling Blue Jays games in 1995 and called 12 World Series on ESPN Radio, among many other national assignments for the network, listened in the visitor’s dugout at Rogers Center as Boone discussed Sterling.

“He’s one of one,” Shulman told Newsday. “Nobody could ever listen to him on the radio and say, ‘Boy, I wonder who that is?’ Memorable and enthusiastic and creative and unique. He is an entertainer who happened [to broadcast] baseball. And I think he had a ton of fun doing it. And you could hear that. You could hear that when he did a game. I never turned on a game and said, ‘John sounds tired, or John sounds like he doesn’t want to be there today.’

“We all get a little tired, but every time I heard him, it was like, ‘This is John’s A-plus.’ Because he’s always delivering the goods. And to have done it for as many years, he’s part of the fabric of the team, he’s part of the community. He’s like a family member.”

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