ESPN broadcaster pays homage to legendary Yankees announcer at end of Pinstripe Bowl


The home of the New York Yankees looked a little unfamiliar on Thursday afternoon.

That’s because instead of nine guys taking the field around some dirt, there were 22 guys tackling one another on yard markers.

The annual Pinstripe Bowl was held at Yankee Stadium on Thursday, and Rutgers came out victorious with a 31-24 win over Miami.

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Yankee Stadium hosted the annual Pinstripe Bowl on Dec. 28, 2023, with Rutgers coming out with a 31-24 win over Miami. (Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

The Scarlet Knights’ victory came down to the wire as Miami recovered an onside kick with 25 seconds left. But the Hurricanes were stopped short on fourth down and Rutgers kneed out the final seven seconds.

Upon Rutgers’ victory, ESPN’s Drew Carter took advantage of the opportunity of calling a game in the Bronx.

Up until 2019, John Sterling had not missed a Yankees game since 1989, being on the mic for 5,060 consecutive games. He’s since taken small breaks here and there, but he remains the team’s No. 1 radio play-by-play announcer on WFAN.

John Sterling

New York Yankees radio broadcaster John Sterling speaks during the team’s 63rd Old-Timers’ Day on July 19, 2009, at Yankee Stadium. (Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

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Sterling is best known for his two signature calls: “It is high, it is far, it is gone” on home runs (although he’s flubbed it plenty) and “Ball game over. Yankees win. THEEEEEEEEE Yankees win!” when the Bronx Bombers get the W.

Throughout the game, Carter mentioned whether a team was driving toward what would be home plate or the outfield. But when Rutgers emerged victorious, he pulled out his best Sterling impression.

“Ball game over. Scarlet Knights win,” Carter began. “THEEEEEEEEE Scarlet Knights win!”

Sterling, 85, has made that call more than 3,000 times for the Yankees, five of which signified a World Series victory.

In a somewhat ironic twist, Ryan Ruocco, now a part-time Yankees broadcaster for the YES Network, called the Pinstripe Bowl in 2016.

Kyle Monangai

Rutgers’ Kyle Monangai (5) celebrates his second-quarter rushing touchdown during the Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium in New York City on Dec. 28, 2023. (Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

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Thursday marked Rutgers’ first bowl win since the 2014 Quick Lane Bowl. They are now 7-5 in bowl games and 2-0 in the Bronx, also winning the 2011 Pinstripe Bowl over Iowa State.

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