Home News Giants gift John Sterling helmet for 85th birthday after ball hit face

Giants gift John Sterling helmet for 85th birthday after ball hit face

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The Giants wanted to make sure John Sterling doesn’t get hit with another foul ball.

During a celebration for the WFAN Yankees play-by-play broadcaster’s 85th birthday Tuesday, Sterling was presented with a football helmet from Big Blue about a month after he took a ball off the face during the ninth inning of a June broadcast.

YES broadcaster Michael Kay added that it was sent by co-owner John Mara.

In addition to the football helmet, Yankees pitcher Nestor Cortes also had shirts printed “honoring the toughness” of Sterling, Kay tweeted.

The shirts, which were given to Yankees players, had a person behind a microphone wearing a suit with two “Ow!” bandages stuck on their face.

With the Yankees leading the Red Sox in the ninth inning on June 10, Justin Turner fouled a pitch from Yankees closer Clay Holmes that eventually bounced off the desk and hit Sterling in the face.


The Giants gave John Sterling a football helmet for his 85th birthday.
Screengrab via Twitter/@WFAN660

“Swung on, a popped foul, back here,” Sterling said on the broadcast. “Ow! Ow! Ow! It really hit me. I didn’t know it was coming back that far.”

He continued without missing a pitch, called the final out of the Yankees’ victory and said postgame that it was just a “glancing blow.”

Nearly a month later, Sterling took part in a pregame birthday celebration outside the WFAN booth before the Yankees’ game against the Orioles at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday. 


John Sterling, pictured in 2022, took a foul ball off the face during the ninth inning of a June broadcast.
John Sterling, pictured in 2022, took a foul ball off the face during the ninth inning of a June broadcast.
Getty Images

He was greeted with a “Happy Birthday” song — sung by a group including Kay and WFAN broadcast partner Suzyn Waldman — and a cake with “Happy Birthday John” scripted across the top layer alongside a microphone.

Sterling made one of his signature home run calls on his birthday, too, with Yankees second baseman Gleyber Torres driving a ball over the left-field fence in the first inning to prompt a “Gleyber Day” call as the Yankees took a 2-0 lead.



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