Yankees voice John Sterling to miss first game in 30 years

For the first time in 30 years, Yankees fans will hear a voice other than John Sterling’s when they tune in to Thursday’s radio broadcast.

NEW YORK – JULY 19: New York Yankees radio broadcaster John Sterling speaks during the teams 63rd Old Timers Day before the game against the Detroit Tigers on July 19, 2009 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Sterling, who turns 81 on Thursday, has called every single Yankee game for the past 30 seasons. He missed two games back in 1989 after his sister’s death.

He told the New York Post that illness is to blame for his absence.

“For the moment, I’m a little under the weather,” he said. “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.”

The longtime play-by-play man will take a four-game break while the Yankees head to Tampa.

YES/ESPN broadcaster Ryan Ruocco will replace Sterling on the July 4th broadcast.

Sterling is under contract with WFAN through 2019, according to CBS Sports, and has called more games than any other broadcaster since his on-air partnership with Suzyn Waldman began in 2004, according to the Post.

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