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Ryan Ruocco thriving as fill-in for legendary Yankees voices

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John Sterling returned to his usual place in the Yankees’ radio booth and had a few simple words for Ryan Ruocco.

“Thank you so much for doing that, I so enjoyed my four days of rest,” Sterling told his temporary replacement.

It had been 5,060 games since Sterling had to utter such words, and Ruocco is still not sure if Sterling listened to the four games he called in his place on WFAN. It thrust Ruocco into the Yankees’ broadcast spotlight usually reserved for Sterling and YES Network play-by-play man Michael Kay.

“I’ve gotten to do a lot of cool stuff in my career and high-profile stuff, I don’t think I’ve ever received more reaction to something than doing those games. To me, that was a testament to John because he is such a Yankees staple,” Ruocco said.

“Whoever was going to be there, it was going to be a big deal and it was going to be listened to closely because it was just strange to have someone other than John calling the Yankees on the radio. To get to be associated with that moment of history and linked to John in that way was super cool.”

Now Ruocco is stepping in for Kay, who is expected to miss a month following vocal-chord surgery.

“I absolutely love calling Yankees games, but I hate the circumstances it’s coming under,” said Ruocco, who will be behind the mic for the Rockies and Twins series on YES over the next week.

“I feel for him because I know this is hard for him, and first and foremost you want him to get better. Doing the games, you just want to uphold the standard. I always want my bosses to feel if something like this comes up or it’s just the games normally Michael is taking off, I can hold the fort.”

This unusually busy July underlies just where Ruocco, 32, is at in his career. The Fordham grad is the No. 2 play-by-play man for Yankees and Nets broadcasts, but sits behind two of the more admired voices — Kay and Ian Eagle — in their respective sports.

Sterling, 81, took another game off this week — Nets radio play-by-play man Chris Carrino stepped in — but there is no sign he plans to leave the booth permanently yet.

“In an industry of vipers, who are looking to pounce on a job when they see any opening, Ryan is one of the kindest souls and good-hearted people I’ve ever met,” the currently silent Kay told The Post in a text message.

“I will be eternally grateful that YES has a Ryan Ruocco, and of course a Ken Singleton, to step in while I can’t talk and that makes me feel less guilty and depressed about missing the first assignments I’ve ever missed in 28 years in broadcasting.”

How long will Ruocco be there in that role, though? Ruocco would normally call four or five series in a season and work approximately 45 games in a reporting role, but he gets to do it in the biggest market in the country. Such is the dilemma he faces.

“I want to be a Hall of Fame play-by-play guy,” said Ruocco, who also calls NBA and WNBA games for ESPN. “You want to be the voice of championships, a voice people associate with prominent moments. I definitely have still higher career goals. I always believe the way those things unfold is grinding on what you are working on now. If you were to tell me that I was going to be doing exactly what I am doing right now for the rest of my life, I’d have a wonderfully happy life.

“Do I someday want to be the No. 1 and the leader in that regard? Of course. That’d be awesome. … But it would take a very, very, very unique opportunity for me to consider a different team. ”

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