TOM CHEEK with JERRY HOWARTH
Quickly now, name one person who has seen nearly 4500 Blue Jays games — someone who has seen every Blue Jays game since the team’s very first season in 1977. Twenty-seven seasons of 162 games and the total comes to 4,374. And that doesn’t include spring training or playoffs.
Tom Cheek has been the voice of the Jays since day one and rivalling the postal service — neither rain nor sleet nor snow have kept him from his appointed task of delivering informative, entertaining and often exciting descriptions of what transpires on the field. There were times when he was bundled up against the cold — like opening day, April 7, 1977 at Exhibition Stadium, Tom and 44,649 fans braved snow and freezing temperatures as Major League baseball made a successful debut in Toronto.
Perhaps the most memorable quote in 27 seasons with the Jays came when Joe Carter hit his series ending home run in 1993. As Carter was rounding the bases, Tom’s words of encouragement carried over the airwaves, “Touch ‘em all Joe.”
Tom began his radio career in Plattsburgh, New York then on to Burlington, Vermont for nine years as corporate sales manager and sports director for a group of three radio stations doing play-by-play baseball, basketball, football and hockey. A little over an hour’s drive north took him to Montreal where he filled in on Expo radio broadcasts for Dave Van Horne on nights the Expos’ games were televised. But then came 1977…and Tom’s still at it here.