This winter keeps getting better for Toronto as it was announced Wednesday, that long time voice of the Blue Jays, Tom Cheek, has been selected as 2013’s recipient of the Ford C. Frick award. The award officially enshrines the long time broadcaster within the walls of sports most prestigious venu, the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
Cheek began his broadcasting career in 1962 and was selected to join Dave Van Horne (2011’s Frick Award recipient) in Montreal, appearing primarily as a guest play-by-play announcer for the Expos, a position he held from 1969 until 1976.
1977 saw the American League expand by a pair of teams in the Seattle Mariners and the Toronto Blue Jays. Cheek took over as the Blue Jays first full time broadcasting personality during Toronto’s inaugural season and would go on to call the next 4306 regular season games and 41 play off tilts before missing a pair of games in 2004 following his fathers passing.
Best known for his spirited “Touch em All, Joe” quote during game 6 of the 1993 World Series, Cheek called various historic moments during his career with the Blue Jays including Doug Ault’s Opening Game home run on April 7, 1977 as well as the teams first divisional championship in 1985.
If your looking for chills take a look at this website and try to remember where you were the first time you heard these great quotes :
Cheek fell ill during the 2004 season and was forced to leave the broadcasting booth as he underwent surgery to remove a brain tumor. Following a successful operation, Cheek returned to the club to call a few more home games for Toronto in 2004 however the cancer returned forcing Cheek out of the booth.
On October 9th, 2005 Thomas F. Cheek succumbed to his illness and passed away at the young age of 66. His legacy was honored by a patch worn on the left sleeve of the Toronto Blue Jays 2006 jerseys as well as the formation of the “Tom Cheek Media Leadership Award”, handed out by the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame.
Cheek was named the Ford C. Frick award recipient after appearing in the top 10 vote getter’s every year since 2005.