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Michael Kay Pays Tribute to John Sterling on His 80th Birthday

What's July 4th without good food, fireworks over the East River, checking out Joey Chestnut set a world record of 74-downed hot dogs in the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest on ESPN [YouTube link, if you can stomach watching it], and watching the Great American Pastime. And yesterday, for this Yankee fan, it was a Yankee victory over the Atlanta Braves, 6-2.

Only Yankee fans will appreciate this Notablog entry, however. John Sterling, who has been in the Yankee broadcast booth for 30 years, tied with Mel Allen, and second only to The Scooter, Phil Rizzuto (who was in the broadcast booth for 40 years!), turned 80 years old yesterday. The Yankee Doodle Dandy sat next to Suzyn Waldman (in her traditional red, white, and blue vest) in the WFAN radio broadcast booth, while Michael Kay and Paul O'Neill were broadcasting from the YES television booth.

Sterling is known for some of his individualized, customized home-run calls for Yankee ballplayers. For last year's Rookie of the Year, Aaron Judge, it was: "He's judge and jury. And this is judgement day!" For Alex Rodriguez, it was: "It's an A-Bomb! From A-Rod!" And so forth. So when Giancarlo Stanton had his first Yankee home run, it was "Giancarlo, non si può stoparlo! It is a Stantonian home run"---which, roughly translated from the Italian, is "Giancarlo, You can not stop it! It is a Stantonian home run."

Well, in honor of Sterling's 80th birthday, Michael Kay was musing in the TV booth that he wanted to be able to pay a birthday tribute to his long-time colleague by making a Sterling-like call for a home run, should any player hit one out. And wouldn't you know it? It was Giancarlo. And Kay nailed it. Check out the comparative calls in this MLB video clip, where the broadcasters are clearly having a ball (no pun intended).