John And Suzyn Reflect On Coronavirus Delaying Start Of MLB Season

LISTEN: Sterling, Waldman Joined 'Joe And Evan'

Joe & Evan
March 26, 2020 - 4:27 pm

Despite the 2020 MLB season being delayed due to the Coronavirus pandemic, Yankees fans got to hear two very familiar voices Thursday afternoon on WFAN. The same two voices they would've heard had the Yankees been opening up their season in Baltimore versus the Orioles: play-by-play broadcaster John Sterling and color commentator/ clubhouse reporter Suzyn Waldman!

Sterling and Waldman, who are set to call their 16th season together of Yankees baseball, joined Joe Benigno and Evan Roberts on WFAN to reflect on the delayed start to the season, their time in the Yankees radio booth together, George Steinbrenner memories and much more.

Sterling called 5060 consecutive Yankees games, beginning in 1989, before taking an 8-day (4-game) break last summer because of health concerns.

"It is a very odd time in our lives," Sterling said. "By far, the most odd time in my life where along with Suzyn, and Joe and Evan, we've had sports basically every day ... it really is odd not having sports. It tells you how much they are missed and how much sports bring us together."

Waldman, 73, has covered the team since 1987 and joined Sterling in the booth in 2005.

Suzyn Waldman
Photo courtesy of Suzyn Waldman

"Opening Day even when I was a little girl was so special," Waldman said. "4:30 in the morning I am up ... we had just moved into our house in Massachusetts. I woke up and it was snowing. I remember my father saying to me, don't worry it will stop before the game and Vinny Orlando will have the field fine. I remember it like it was yesterday."

For Waldman, waking up on Thursday afternoon and realizing Yankees' Opening Day wouldn't be taking place was very difficult for her.

"I got up and it's 5 a.m. in the morning and it's dark and I really felt it for the first time; it's really awful. It's really an awful thing as a matter of fact. I'm actually watching Opening Day 1996 right now."

Last season, the Yankees clinched the American League East Division title for the first time since 2012 and also earned their 100th win. Boone became the first manager in MLB history to have 100 or more wins in each of his first two seasons. 

Even despite the layoff, Yankees manager Aaron Boone has been staying busy and connected with his players.

"He texts just about everybody every day," Waldman said. "He thinks Stanton is over the hump and is running aggressive and is fine... he knows that Gerrit Cole is going to be in shape because they live near each other and Aaron Boone is playing catch with Gerrit Cole. it's amazing. social distancing whatever well it is far to throw. cole is fine and they evidently live near each other. up there. he ended the presser saying ok, I've gotta go play catch with Gerrit."

During Steinbrenner's 37-year ownership from 1973 to his death in July 2010, the longest in club history, the Yankees earned seven World Series titles and 11 pennants. His impact went beyond just the success his teams had on the field.

"George Steinbrenner taught the major league owners how to make even more money with their teams," Sterling explained. "You know how people said when free agency came in, it would end baseball. it actually improved baseball by yards, by miles. George taught them how to sell the team. With cable, his own network, all the owners should make sure George is in the Hall of Fame for what he did. Now, baseball is a $10-11 billion dollar sport. It wasn't then and George had a lot to do with that."