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John Sterling: The King Of The Home-Run Call

Love him or hate him, New York Yankees announcer John Sterling has a unique style that helps him stand out from other radio broadcasters.

When Suzyn Waldman isn’t cutting him off in the booth, Sterling is probably belting out one of his many trademark home-run calls.

New York magazine breaks down the seven type of home run calls from Sterling:

1. RHYMES
Sterling tends to rely on rhyming when presented with a boring name that he can’t really work with: Russell Martin, Andruw Jones, etc. Having said that, Brett Gardner – whose last name is an actual word – deserves better, don’t you think?
Examples:
• “Russell has muscle!” (Russell Martin)
• “Robbie Cano, don’cha know?” (Robinson Cano)

2. PLAYS ON PLAYER’S NAME OR NICKNAME
A more creative call, sometimes – as in the case of Mark Teixeira or Melky Cabrera – involving just a fragment of a player’s name.
Examples:
• “You’re on the mark, Teixeira!” (Mark Teixeira)
• “He sends a Tex-message …” (Mark Teixeira)
• “An A-bomb from A-Rod!” (Alex Rodriguez)

3. ALLITERATION
Used, presumably, when a decent rhyme can’t be found.
Examples:
• “Jorgie juiced one!” (Jorge Posada)
• “Bernie goes boom!” (Bernie Williams)
• “A Damon dinger!” (Johnny Damon)

4. FOREIGN LANGUAGES
Not necessarily used only for players born outside of the United States.
Examples:
• “El comedulce, Bobby Abreu is as sweet as candy!” (Bobby Abreu; see also “Plays on a Player’s Name or Nickname”)
• “El capitan!” (Derek Jeter)
• “The sayonara kid does it again!” (Hideki Matsui)

5. CULTURAL REFERENCES
This is where Sterling truly shines, particularly when he can incorporate his love for Broadway into a call, as in the case of Curtis Granderson or Lance Berkman.
Examples:
• “Oh Curtis, you’re something sort of Grandish!” (Curtis Granderson, in reference to a lyric from the musical Finian’s Rainbow)
• “The Grandy-man can!” (Curtis Granderson, in reference to the song “The Candyman Can”; note: Sterling actually sings the lyric)

6. REFERENCES TO BABE RUTH’S NICKNAME
A bit of a stretch; used if a player’s name includes the long “e” sound found in “Bambino,” as in “Giambi” or “Tino.”
Examples:
• “The Giambino” (Jason Giambi)
• “The Bam-Tino” (Tino Martinez)

7. MADE-UP WORDS
Example:
• “Swishalicious” (Nick Swisher)

• “The Grandy-man can!” is my favorite call on this list. What’s your favorite John Sterling home run call?

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