April 2006 Archives
April 4, 2006 @ 19:30
I sat down to watch the Blue Jays home-opener last night. I think its only the second one I haven't attended since 1977.
That's one thing about working in the radio business, you never have to buy tickets. Now that I've become a "writer" based in the north end of Brampton. (sounds better than unemployed) I don't get free tickets to anything but estate auctions at the Hansa House in Norval.
Anyway... back to my point. I sat down to watch the game and was all pumped up until they introduced Shirley Cheek, who would throw out the first pitch. Shirley is the wife of Tom Cheek, the longtime voice of the Blue Jays who passed away last fall after battling brain cancer.
My heart sunk. I, like most Jays fans, loved Tom Cheek. Nothing against Jerry Howarth, I like him too. But Tom was the original guy, and his voice became part of summer in Toronto.
That friendly, almost folksy voice wafting from radios across the land. From the car next to you at a traffic light. From your neighbours back yard. From the fishin' boat anchored in the Kawartha Lakes
It put you in a comfort zone. The sound of Toms voice meant spring, warm weather, doing stuff outside. It also meant a lot of success. His calls during the pennant and World Series years are legendary, especially the now infamous "touch em all Joe".
We didn't get to hear Tom last year because he was ill. But he was still alive, and as long as someone is alive, we're conditioned to think that there's a chance they'll survive and maybe recover.
But seeing Shirley last night, really made it hit home. Tom Cheek is gone. And that makes me sad.