A Melancholy Weekend for this Ball Fan


Ugh. Ack. Sigh! My poor boys lost the Division Series in five games. They had heart, they had grit, they had character. What they didn't have was a whole lot of pitching...or the right breaks, and they fell short. Probable American League MVP Alex Rodriguez will get blamed by a lot of loud mouths who are concerned with how the Boss spends his money. Think anyone is going to be harder on him then he will be himself? "I played great baseball all year, but I played like a dog the last five days. At the end of the day, you win or lose as a team, but I didn't show up." He stood up and took the blame square on his own shoulders, fighting back tears. In this game where millions of dollars gets thrown around every day, that kind of leadership is worth a few in my book. ARod will get his ring eventually, just not this year. It's going to be a tough winter for a lot of guys. Will we see Bernie Williams again? Leiter? Even Mr. Torre? It's impossible to say. This would be one hell of a disappointing way to end an era.

The truly sad news is that Tom Cheek, longtime radio voice of the Toronto Blue Jays finally succumbed to the brain cancer he'd been fighting for the last year. Tom broadcast over 4,500 games including 4,306 consecutive regular season games (and an additional 41 postseason contests) from the first game in team history on April 7, 1977 through June 3, 2004. I feel like I watched half of those games on the radio. Yes, watched. Back in the day, over 20 years ago, very few ball games were broadcast on television. If you were going to follow a team, you had to listen to the radio. My Father had a radio that was a replica of an old 1940's model and I used to sit and stare at the radio, listening to Tom call the games. And I wonder why I sometimes feel like I belong in another era? Tom was a constant, comforting voice and probably taught me more about the game than anyone. That old radio doesn't work anymore. While it may be a shell of its former self, it sits in my home to this day and reminds me of all those summer nights long ago, watching baseball games on the radio with Tom Cheek.

This year Tom was named as one of ten finalists for the Ford C. Frick Award, recognizing baseball broadcasting excellence and carrying with it induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. You can bet he's headed for Cooperstown - a well deserved tribute indeed.

For more on Tom's life and career visit
  • Tribute to Tom

  • Tom Cheek. He will be missed.

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