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Local Sports

December 6, 2012

Voice of Blue Jays wins Frick award


Perhaps the biggest moment in Toronto Blue Jays history came in Game 6 of the 1993 World Series when Joe Carter’s walkoff homer clinched the title.

Tom Cheek said of Carter’s shot off of Philadelphia Phillies reliever Mitch Williams thusly: “Touch ‘em all Joe! You’ll never hit a bigger home run in your life.”

Cheek, who died Oct. 9, 2005, was named Ford C. Frick Award winner for broadcasting excellence Wednesday, the Baseball Hall of Fame announced.

“Tom Cheek was the voice of summer for generations of baseball fans in Canada and beyond,” Hall President Jeff Idelson said in a media release by the Cooperstown shrine. “He helped a nation understand the elements of the game and swoon for the summer excitement that the expansion franchise brought a hockey-crazed nation starting in the late 1970s. He then authored the vocal narrative of a team that evolved into one of the most consistent clubs of the 1980s and 1990s. We are thrilled to celebrate Tom’s legacy with baseball broadcasting’s highest honor.”

Cheek became the second Frick winner in three years who spent the majority of his career in Canada. Longtime Montreal Expos radio man Dave Van Horne earned the honor in 2011. Tim McCarver won the award last season.

Along with J.G. Taylor Spink Award winner Paul Hagen, Cheek will be honored during the Hall of Fame’s Awards Presentation on July 27 in Cooperstown.

The following day, Yankees owner Jacob Ruppert, umpire Hank O’Day and 19th century catcher/third baseman Deacon White will be enshrined into the Hall of Fame at the Clark Sports Center in Cooperstown. Ruppert, O’Day and White _ all deceased _ earned election into the Hall on Monday in a vote by the Pre-Integration Era Committee. They will be joined by any others selected for election in voting by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, which will be released Jan. 9.

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