Jays' Voice Tom Cheek Dies at 66
October 10, 2005 at 5:57 AM (PT)
The radio voice of the TORONTO BLUE JAYS, TOM CHEEK, died SUNDAY (10/9) in OLDSMAR, FL at 66. He had been battling a brain tumor for over a year.
CHEEK, the team's original voice, broadcast 4,306 consecutive JAYS regular-season games and all 41 post-season games before taking time off for his father's death in early 2004, then underwent surgery for a brain tumor in JUNE 2004; he worked some home games upon recovering, but despite hopes he could return for more action in 2005, he only appeared as a guest in the booth for a half-inning of the season opener at TAMPA BAY, near his home. CHEEK was a finalist for the HALL OF FAME's FORD C. FRICK AWARD this year.
"It's difficult to put into words the overwhelming sense of grief and loss shared today by the BLUE JAYS family, the City of Toronto, the extended community of Major League Baseball and its many fans," JAYS Pres./CEO PAUL GODFREY said in a statement.
"TOM CHEEK has provided the soundtrack for the most important moments in this team's history, with his choice of words and intonation always perfectly suited for the occasion. He was far more than just an outstanding announcer though. He was a great goodwill ambassador for baseball in CANADA. His love for the game, which radiated through his words on the radio, captivated fans across this country and helped to grow the sport from one coast to the other."
CHEEK's JAYS broadcasts were heard on CJCL-A (THE FAN)/TORONTO.