NY Islanders announcer Brendan Burke pays tribute to John Sterling with goal call

Kansas City Royals v New York Yankees
Kansas City Royals v New York Yankees / Rich Schultz/GettyImages

Legendary New York Yankees radio play-by-play announcer John Sterling announced his retirement, effective immediately on Monday, after 36 seasons in the team's radio booth. Baseball fans knew that there weren't too many games in Sterling's future, but the announcement, just 16 games into the 2024 season, came as a surprise.

Long before Sterling was saying, "It is hiiiigh, it is farrrr, it is gone!" and coming up with unique, custom home run calls for each and every Yankee, he was calling hockey games for the New York Islanders. From 1975 through 1980, Sterling announced New York Nets of the ABA and Isles games for WMCA, WVNJ, WOR-TV, and SportsChannel New York.

Just as he had a famous home run call, he had a trademark goal call as well, saying "Islanders Goal! Islanders Goal!" emphatically whenever the Isles lit the lamp.

During the third period of the Islanders' games against the New Jersey Devils, MSG Networks play-by-play announcer Brendan Burke paid tribute to Sterling, with an "Islanders Goal! Islanders Goal!" when Kyle MacLean stuffed the puck across the goal line to give the Isles a 4-1 lead.

"He's one of the reasons I got into the business and certainly somebody I looked up to, really my entire life," said Burke moments later. "He'll be a tough guy to replace unless it's you, Brendan," quipped broadcast partner Butch Goring. "Then it'll be a walk in the park."

Burke humorously went on to quickly change the subject.

During the 2022 MLB season Burke was one of several fill-in radio announcers for Sterling during the summer. The opportunity to broadcast Yankees games was a was a dream come true for Burke who had recorded himself calling games from the left field stands at Yankee Stadium growing up.