Sterling loses Series rings in apartment complex fire

Massive blaze in New Jersey leaves Yankees announcer starting from scratch

Sterling loses Series rings in apartment complex fire

NEW YORK -- John Sterling, the longtime radio voice of the New York Yankees, is among the hundreds of people who have been displaced after a massive fire ripped through a large New Jersey apartment complex on Wednesday.

The Avalon at Edgewater complex in Edgewater, N.J., went up in flames at approximately 4:30 p.m. ET, and the fire continued to burn into the morning hours. Authorities said that everyone in the four-story building escaped safely, but losses are expected to be substantial.

"I just realized; you know what I lost in the fire? My World Series rings, except for the [2009] one I'm wearing," Sterling said on Thursday morning. "I'm not a possession-oriented person, but I don't have any clothes. I don't have anything. Today I have to go out and start shopping."

Sterling said that he spent the night at a nearby hotel. He had been returning to the apartment complex about when the fire started. One bank of elevators was already offline, and Sterling was approaching another elevator when he noticed the odor of smoke in the complex.

"I said to myself, 'John, you'd better get the hell out of here,'" Sterling said.

Sterling watched television news coverage of the fire from his hotel room. He believes that the books, music and memorabilia that were contained within his apartment walls will be a total loss. He said that he did have renter's insurance, which should help him regroup.

Speaking via telephone on Thursday morning, Sterling said that he was on his way to replace his toiletries and medicine. He also planned to visit a Bloomingdale's store, intending to replenish his collection of suits, shirts and ties.

"I have so much to get, my God," Sterling said. "But I'm going to get after it, and thank God no one was hurt in the fire. I don't have anything, and so I have to start. It's weird. Really weird. And I've lost every phone number. I don't think there's anything in that apartment."

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.