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Longtime Blue Jays broadcaster Tom Cheek named 2013 Ford Frick Award winner

Dec 5, 2012, 11:28 AM EDT

Tom Cheek

Major League Baseball and the Hall of Fame just announced that Tom Cheek, the longtime Toronto Blue Jays announcer, has been selected as the 2013 recipient of the Ford C. Frick Award, presented annually for excellence in broadcasting by the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

Cheek called Blue Jays games from the team’s inception until he was forced out of the booth due to illness in 2004. Indeed, Cheek called every regular season and postseason Blue Jays game from April 7, 1977 through June 2, 2004, when he took a day off for his father’s funeral. It was at that time he was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor and was only able to broadcast sporadically thereafter. He passed away on October 9, 2005.

While he was an institution for Jays fans, his most famous call — from the 1993 World Series — is well-known by non-Jays fans: “Touch ’em all Joe! You’ll never hit a bigger home run in your life.”

The Ford C. Frick Award is voted upon annually and is named in memory of the sportswriter, radio broadcaster, National League president and Baseball commissioner. Cheek will be honored at the Hall of Fame’s Awards Presentation on Saturday, July 27 in Cooperstown, along with 2013 J.G. Taylor Spink Award winner Paul Hagen.

  1. simonsharkeygotlieb - Dec 5, 2012 at 11:32 AM

    It’s about time. The voice of baseball for Toronto, and for our entire country, from April 7 1977 to 2005. Worked 4306 consecutive games. He was as much a face of the Blue Jays as anybody to ever wear the uniform. It’s long overdue, and it should have happened before he died, but it doesn’t matter now. He’s where he belongs in Cooperstown, and our entire country rejoices today.

    • proudlycanadian - Dec 5, 2012 at 12:07 PM

      Agreed 110%

    • cur68 - Dec 5, 2012 at 12:51 PM

      Yeah. I miss that guy. He did a really good job.

  2. missthemexpos - Dec 5, 2012 at 11:41 AM

    Never get tired of the replay of Carter’s home run with Cheek’s audio.

  3. jaysfan64 - Dec 5, 2012 at 11:44 AM

    Canada is celebrating today, and with good reason – Tom Cheek was the voice of our summers for at least 2 generations..Tom and Jerry Howarth brought us the story of the coming of age of our MLB team…the pain, the heartache, the triumph…it will be good to see Shirley Cheek and the family on stage at Cooperstown…and kudos to Mike Wilner of the Fan 590 for his tireless campaigning…Congratulations, Tom…

  4. jaysfan64 - Dec 5, 2012 at 11:58 AM

    Although he meant much more to long time Jays fans than just this one call, here’s the entire call that ended up defining Tom Cheek:

  5. nbjays - Dec 5, 2012 at 1:32 PM

    Nice to see Tom finally get recognized for being the fine sportscaster he was and the voice of the Jays for over 27 years — without missing a single game. The Cal Ripken Jr of announcers, indeed.

  6. nygdriveforfive - Dec 5, 2012 at 2:17 PM

    Long overdue. Touch em all Tom

  7. ryan02190 - Dec 5, 2012 at 3:02 PM

    Cheek and Frick. Two last names I’ve never heard.

  8. soxfan1966 - Dec 5, 2012 at 3:18 PM

    This is overdue — well deserved.

  9. jaysjunkie - Dec 5, 2012 at 7:44 PM

    Reading this just now has made my day…make that my week. I voted daily for Cheek, who is more identifiable with the first 28 years of the Blue Jays than anyone else and was just outstanding at his job. And screw it, I’ll admit this on a public forum – I shed tears when I first heard that he died.

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