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Yankees broadcaster John Sterling to miss first game in 30 years

By Jake Elman
Yankees broadcaster John Sterling to miss first game in 30 years
John Sterling has called over 5,000 consecutive Yankees games. Photo by Chris Ptacek/Wikimedia Commons

July 3 (UPI) -- New York Yankees radio broadcaster John Sterling will miss his first games in 30 seasons when he's absent from this weekend's series against the Tampa Bay Rays.

Sterling, who turns 81 Thursday, has worked 5,059 consecutive games, including the postseason, since 1989. That streak does not include spring training games.

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The streak will end Wednesday night at 5,060 games. Sterling told the New York Post he has been feeling "under the weather" lately and will return to the team after next week's All-Star break.

"I've put in the time, I want to feel better and they think this is the time for me to do it -- and I agree," Sterling said.

Sterling last missed a Yankees game in 1989, when he had two games off after the death of his sister, Jane. He is a fan favorite among Yankees followers for having unique home run calls for each player.

ESPN and YES Network broadcaster Ryan Ruocco will fill in for Sterling during the four-game series in St. Petersburg, Fla. Ruocco will work with longtime Yankees radio color commentator Suzyn Waldman.

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The Yankees are 54-29 this season. First-place New York leads the Tampa Bay by 5 1/2 games in the American League East.

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