A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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“It is high! It is far! It is gone!” (baseball home run call) (8/29)
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Entry from August 29, 2015
“It is high! It is far! It is gone!” (baseball home run call)

American sportscaster John Sterling began as New York Yankees play-by-play announcer in 1989. Sterling developed a catchphrase home run call (that he also attempted to trademark):

“It is high...it is far...it is gone!”

Some critics have claimed that the call is overly dramatic, and that some home runs aren’t that high or that far and barely make the stands. Also, some balls that are hit high and far go foul or are caught, sometimes by an outfielder’s leaping grab.  “IT IS HIGH! IT IS FAR! IT IS...caught.” is the title of a blog.


Wikipedia: John Sterling (sportscaster)
John Sterling (born John Sloss; July 4, 1938) is an American sportscaster best known as the radio play-by-play announcer of Major League Baseball’s New York Yankees. He has announced every Yankees game since 1989.
(...)
New York and the Yankees
In 1989, Sterling returned to New York to broadcast the games for the Yankees on WABC radio. He has been with the Yankees ever since, currently calling games on WFAN radio and its affiliates in the New York Yankees Radio Network. Since 2005, his co-host has been Suzyn Waldman; past announcing partners include: Jay Johnstone (1989–1990), Joe Angel (1991), Michael Kay (1992–2001), and Charley Steiner (2002–2004). In 2013, the Yankees announced a move to WFAN over the next ten years, and Sterling was retained.
(...)
One of his signature radio remarks is his home run call “It is high, it is far, it is gone!” He devises a personalized catchphrase for every Yankee player. Sterling is known for giving each player a personalized home run call.

New York (NY) Times
SPORTS OF THE TIMES
Yankees, Yankees, Yankees
By GEORGE VECSEY
Published: October 16, 1996
(...)
Ben told me that since he arrived from Italy 35 years ago, ‘’I didn’t care a thing about baseball, but now I’m listening to the Yankee games on the radio. I love the way that guy yells every time there’s a home run. He sounds like the guy on television during the World Cup. I don’t know what’s going on, but he makes it sound exciting.’’

He was talking about the way John Sterling emotes ‘’It is high! It is far! It is gone!’’ whenever a Yankee hits one over a fence, the way Andres Cantor shouted ‘’Gooooooooool!’’ on Spanish telecasts in the 1994 soccer World Cup.

Google Groups: alt.sports.baseball.ny-yankees
John Sterling “It is high, it is far” percentage
Tinos
10/6/00
With Justice’s “It is high, it is far, it is caught at the wall” fly ball, it must’ve dropped John Sterling’s HR call percentage below 50% this year. Can he just drop that call if he’s not going to be right about it? Man, is he getting worse or is it me?

Google Groups: rec.sport.baseball
John Sterling: Baseball’s worst announcer on its best team?
VPaterno
10/19/01
To think that for ensuing decades, John Sterling will be the soundtrack to the Torre-era Yankees, undermining all the class and professionalism they have brought to the field. Not good for posterity, but then again Crazy George Steinbrenner was never known for taste. (I still maintain the Yankees win in spite of him, not because of him. Were he to regain complete control, it would be the late-80s swoon all over again.).

And I didn’t even get into Sterling’s home run call, which is almost always the same—“It is high, it is far, it is gone!”—whether it be a mammoth McGwiresque blow or just a long fly. Sterling has blown so many of these calls that turned out not to be home runs after all that it’s become a running joke in New York. He even copyrighted the phrase and marketed it for T-shirts. How crass.

Google Books
Bob Wolff’s Complete Guide to Sportscasting:
How to Make It in Sportscasting With or Without Talent

By Bob Wolff
New York, NY: Skyhorse Publishing
2011
Pg. ?:
On Yankees radio broadcasts, John Sterling intones as the decibels peak—“It is high—It is far—It is gone!” Whether the fielder leaps for it reaching over the fence or whether it soars in majestic flight to a higher resting place is second to the urgent declaration accompanying John’s fervor. This Shakespearean rendition with the thunderous burst of triumph in his voice leaves no doubt that the ball has reached baseball heaven. Whether accepted as the greatest accolade or scoffed at as a complete affectation, it’s John’s own touch. John will even render this for fans on special occasions like a singer warbling his favorite song.

YouTube
John Sterling- It Is High, It Is Far, It Is Bizarre
Mike Pinto
Uploaded on Nov 22, 2011
In Depth Analysis : Breaking Down John Sterling’s Schtick

Google Books
Ballgame!:
A Decade Covering the Texas Rangers from the Best Seat in the House

By Josh Lewin
Chicago, IL: Triumph Books LLC
2012
Pg. ?:
While I respect John Sterling’s “It is high, it is far, it is gone,” I have always maintained that some home runs aren’t necessarily hit high or even very far.

Twitter
Al Cavagnet
‏@alcav54
Always remember before “It is high, it is far, it is gone” it was “Goal, Islander Goal, Islander Goal!!!!!!”
#Isles
12:02 PM - 10 Jan 2015

(TrademarK)
Word Mark IT IS HIGH… IT IS FAR… IT IS GONE!
Goods and Services (CANCELLED) IC 025. US 022 039. G & S: T-shirts and sweatshirts. FIRST USE: 19970800. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19970800
Mark Drawing Code (1) TYPED DRAWING
Serial Number 75205213
Filing Date November 27, 1996
Current Basis 1A
Original Filing Basis 1B
Published for Opposition June 3, 1997
Date Amended to Current Register January 6, 2000
Registration Number 2443527
Registration Date April 10, 2001
Owner (REGISTRANT) Sterling, John INDIVIDUAL UNITED STATES 1 Millay Court Teaneck NEW JERSEY 07666
Attorney of Record MARY A DONOVAN
Type of Mark TRADEMARK
Register SUPPLEMENTAL
Live/Dead Indicator DEAD
Cancellation Date January 12, 2008

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CitySports/Games • Saturday, August 29, 2015 • Permalink


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