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On Sunday morning, Tom Cheek lost his long struggle with cancer.

He leaves behind his wife Shirley, and their three children and seven grandchildren.

From the Blue Jays' press release, CEO Paul Godfrey:

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. 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.

A Web site, , has been created in Tom's memory where fans are encouraged to purchase a "Tribute to Tom Tribute Wrist Band" where net proceeds will go to the Canadian Cancer Society.

Vaya con dios, old friend. We were truly lucky to have shared so many summers with you.

Tom Cheek | 42 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Flex - Sunday, October 09 2005 @ 12:57 PM EDT (#129882) #
I want to say what a great job Mike Wilner is doing capturing the importance of this day on The Fan. Nothing sappy or overstated, just genuine emotion. I'm glad he's there.

The tribute they played just brought tears to my eyes.
Anders - Sunday, October 09 2005 @ 01:06 PM EDT (#129883) #
I dont know how to express myself. I never met Tom, never knew him, but growing up listening to the Jays on the radio, with my grandfather who would pass away from cancer himself... When I think of baseball I think of Tom's voice, and this news, while perhaps not a complete shock, is painful all the same.
Matthew E - Sunday, October 09 2005 @ 01:22 PM EDT (#129884) #
Oh no.

This is terrible. I really thought he was going to get better, and that he might even be back at the mike someday.

Condolences to his family, friends and fans.
Lefty - Sunday, October 09 2005 @ 01:23 PM EDT (#129885) #
Baseball is eternal and so is Tom Cheek.

Well done Tom.
Sherrystar - Sunday, October 09 2005 @ 01:27 PM EDT (#129886) #
Although we all knew he was ill, the news has still caused a shock to my system. The piece on the FAN brought back so many memories of my summers and my childhood. And when they replayed him speaking when he was honoured on the level of excellence... well that just me choked up. Missed but never forgotten.
Dave Till - Sunday, October 09 2005 @ 01:29 PM EDT (#129887) #
Terrible news; I too was hoping that he would recover and return to the microphone.

My deepest sympathies to his friends and family, and to all who knew him.
Twilight - Sunday, October 09 2005 @ 01:29 PM EDT (#129888) #
I don't really remember Tom Cheek that much. But it is a tragedy to lose such a key individual for Canadian baseball. Sad to see him go.
gv27 - Sunday, October 09 2005 @ 01:31 PM EDT (#129889) #
Jackie Robinson's epitaph reads: "A man's life is worthless, but for the impact it has on other lives."

Tom had thousands of friends he never actually met.
That's impact.
PlatinumSombrero - Sunday, October 09 2005 @ 01:31 PM EDT (#129890) #
Now that there's a thread for this I can be a little more lengthy...

People often talk of baseball as the "timeless" game, and few things about it are more timeless than baseball on AM radio. It wouldn't be an understatement to say I grew up with Tom Cheek and Ernie Harwell on the radio. Not living in Toronto I don't get to as many Jays games as many people do, but I could always count on a lazy Sunday afternoon being made better by turning on the radio and hearing his voice. In my life I've been to the Dome for about 50 Jays games, and while I've seen a few great moments (Tony's last game in 2001, Clemens setting the team strikeout record in 1998 against KC), the game I feel most privileged to have seen was Tom Cheek night. Truly an incredible tribute to a great man.

You will be missed, Tom.
Flex - Sunday, October 09 2005 @ 01:34 PM EDT (#129891) #
I remember back in 1993, I was at the SkyDome for game 6 of the World Series. I saw the home run and partied for an hour at the Dome. But the experience wasn't complete for me until I heard how Tom called it. When I drove home, that was the priority -- I wanted to find out how Tom made it sound.
gosensgo101 - Sunday, October 09 2005 @ 02:03 PM EDT (#129892) #
RIP Tom. You were and will be the only voice of the Toronto Blue Jays.
Mike D - Sunday, October 09 2005 @ 02:59 PM EDT (#129896) #
When Tom first became ill, the Batter's Box community found 158 ways to express their appreciation. It's sad, yet somehow comforting, to read those words from far and wide again today.

Farewell to the source of so many of my summer childhood memories.
Jabes - Sunday, October 09 2005 @ 03:05 PM EDT (#129897) #
Hopefully the Jays organization will pay tribute to Tom accordingly when the new season begins.

The best way would be making a nice donation or pledge to cancer research and treatment. It'd be even nicer if the organization made a long-term commitment to help fight cancer, maybe having a Tom Cheek day every year with the team matching fans donatons etc...

I'll miss your voice Tom. R.I.P.

greenfrog - Sunday, October 09 2005 @ 03:48 PM EDT (#129900) #
Tom, you were a class act. You will be missed.
David Paul - Sunday, October 09 2005 @ 04:33 PM EDT (#129902) #
Thank you, Tom. Bless you, and godspeed.
Original Ryan - Sunday, October 09 2005 @ 06:03 PM EDT (#129904) #
Very sad news. Like many here, I grew up listening to Tom Cheek. From this day on, following the Blue Jays will never be the same.
BallGuy - Sunday, October 09 2005 @ 07:52 PM EDT (#129907) #
I too had held out hope that Tom would make a recovery and return to call the games again.
This winter will feel longer and colder knowing Tom is not on the other side of it.
My thoughts and prayers to the Cheek family.
VBF - Sunday, October 09 2005 @ 07:57 PM EDT (#129908) #
Not even words themselves could be put together to measure the impact Tom Cheek had on baseball and the Toronto Blue Jays. At the cottage, on the Gardiner and at the games themselves, life felt peaceful when listening to his voice on the air. His voice is irreplaceable, and the Blue Jays and their fans are at a terrible loss without him. Thank You Tom Cheek, you shall never be forgotten.
Tom Servo - Sunday, October 09 2005 @ 08:56 PM EDT (#129911) #
To paraphrase the man himself...

You touched us all, Tom. There'll never be another like you.
Twilight - Sunday, October 09 2005 @ 11:17 PM EDT (#129916) #
I am sure they will do something to honour him next year. Maybe the '07 bobblehead? I like the idea of a Tom Cheek day with proceeds to cancer research.
CSHunt68 - Sunday, October 09 2005 @ 11:53 PM EDT (#129917) #
Touch 'em all, Tom.
You'll be missed.
Hartley - Monday, October 10 2005 @ 12:47 AM EDT (#129919) #
It has been a pleasure listening to Tom over the years. From the club inception with Tom Cheek and Early Wynn on CKFH 1430. As the years went by Tom was joined by Jerry Howarth on CJCL 1430 and The Fan 590.A brief period on the Team 1050 CHUM and a return to the Fan590. You made me a fan of the Blue Jays over the years. I will miss hearing your voice. You are the voice of the Blue Jays!
RhyZa - Monday, October 10 2005 @ 01:58 AM EDT (#129921) #
Well, watching the Sportsnet feature on Tom it certainly left me more than a little teary eyed... a great, great loss of a wonderful person but the memories shall live on forever.
HaloBrad - Monday, October 10 2005 @ 02:40 AM EDT (#129923) #
Baseball is a family sport, the love of which is passed from father to son (at least in my family) and fasciltated by the voices of the game. Here on the West Coast, I never had the honor of hearing Mr. Cheek call a game but I am diminished by his loss as a piece of our Pastime moves on to a greener field.
May he rest in peace and may his family find strength in the joy it seems he brought to so many.
GregH - Monday, October 10 2005 @ 08:52 AM EDT (#129925) #
Now that this thread is up, I am re-posting this from yesterday:

My sons (then 9 & 8) and I were lucky enough to be at the Dome the day they honoured Tom. It was a tremendously moving ceremony.

I can remember hearing Tom broadcasting Expos games with my dad. I listened to him as much as I could every Summer since '77 and my boys and I listened since 2002.

I went to the store Sunday morning and turned on The Fan 590 just as Doug Farraway was doing a tribute to Tom. I sat in the parking lot crying like a baby.

You will be missed, Tom. Rest In Peace.
John Northey - Monday, October 10 2005 @ 10:01 AM EDT (#129926) #
Like many others I never met Tom, but felt like I knew him from listing to him so much. I'm very thankful he had his day at the stadium and that he was able to enjoy being nominated (by the fans) for the broadcasters HOF award. It is a shame that he won't be there when the day finally comes that they give him that award. If they make it a fan vote again lets all work as hard as possible to make him the top vote getter by such a wide margin that they will feel obligated to give the award to him.
Some call me Tim - Monday, October 10 2005 @ 02:51 PM EDT (#129930) #
Living on the West Coast now, one of the things I miss most from my days growing up in Ontario is listening to Tom and Jerry on the radio. I have fond memories of listening to ball games each evening, falling asleep to the soft, resonant voices describing events taking place late at night half a continent away. Later, every time I crossed the country in my car, I would print out the list of radio stations that carried the game and then seek those stations out as I travelled. When the crackle of empty air space gave way to the sonorous tones of Tom's voice, I would feel a sudden joy as if I now knew a friend in Saskatchewan or Nova Scotia or wherever I was at the time. Tom was a daily friend to so many of us across the country, a reminder that all was right for now and a hope that summer would last forever. Today, we know that summer isn't eternal and sometimes things are far from right. I choose though, as I think Tom would have wanted, to remember the good times and the part he played in making them memorable. Rest in peace, Tom. My deep sympathy and prayers to his family.
BallGuy - Monday, October 10 2005 @ 04:13 PM EDT (#129935) #
As I read through this thread and listen to the discussion about Tom Cheek on the Fan I realize how much I missed hearing his voice during the broadcasts this season. I hope the Fan replays some historic Jays' games from the past so we can hear Tom's voice again.
H Winfield Teut - Monday, October 10 2005 @ 05:38 PM EDT (#129939) #
Although not a local... I was introduced to Cheek via the internet by Original Ryan, and appreciated the chance to hear a truly great voice. Saddened of course by his loss, and his families pain, but also as a fan to one less link to the original Jays.

Other than Len Frejlich are there any more?
Magpie - Monday, October 10 2005 @ 06:17 PM EDT (#129940) #
Other than Len Frejlich are there any more?

Howard Starkman, of course. He's now listed as "Vice President, Special Projects."

StephenT - Monday, October 10 2005 @ 09:01 PM EDT (#129948) #
Dan Shulman remembered Tom Cheek on the ESPN radiocast of Angels/Yankees last night, at the beginning of the 2nd inning or so. Being from Toronto, he listened to Tom every night growing up. He was never more nervous about meeting anyone for the first time than to meet Tom Cheek. Of course they became colleagues and friends. Tom will be missed.
Matthew E - Monday, October 10 2005 @ 09:35 PM EDT (#129950) #
Other than Len Frejlich are there any more?

There are lots, although hardly any with the organization now. But Ernie Whitt is one.

Jobu - Tuesday, October 11 2005 @ 12:23 AM EDT (#129956) #
I miss him. I really do. I've never met him but I truly miss him.

RIP Tom. Thank you for making baseball great.
Four Seamer - Tuesday, October 11 2005 @ 09:15 AM EDT (#129962) #
The news wasn't wholly unexpected, but it stings something awful just the same. Tom has provided the soundtrack for so many treasured memories that I've gotten teary-eyed every time I've thought about him.

Rest in peace, partner. My thoughts and prayers are with Shirley and his family as they cope with their loss.
Mike Green - Tuesday, October 11 2005 @ 09:30 AM EDT (#129963) #
Tom Cheek was the voice of so many of my summers. And what a fine understated voice it was.

My condolences to his family and friends.
Rob - Tuesday, October 11 2005 @ 10:06 AM EDT (#129965) #
I've been fairly lucky in my life so far as I have not lost a close friend or relative -- until this weekend.

I hope wherever Tom is now, there's an Alice Fazooli's that is always open.
Shortstop - Tuesday, October 11 2005 @ 11:10 AM EDT (#129972) #
A simple thanks to Tom. That voice will always remain with me.
Brian B. - Tuesday, October 11 2005 @ 01:29 PM EDT (#129979) #
Vaya con Dios, Tom.

I already missed you.
actionjackson - Tuesday, October 11 2005 @ 02:27 PM EDT (#129981) #
This man was far more than one of the greatest broadcasters baseball has ever seen, he was also a great human being. I never met him, but the stories of his goodwill that are pouring in are staggering.
I've also really enjoyed listening to the funny moments in the broadcast booth. Wilner played a piece where the 3rd Miracle Food Mart Inning Grand Slam of the season had just been hit and Tom and Jerry were reduced to giggling school kids about the fact that Bill Shine was going to have to pay some lucky fan another $50,000. It was priceless. Or the one where Tom goofed on Wilner about some kid named Jose Jiminez in the Arizona system, wondering how he was coming along. Wilner paused asking if he meant the pitcher in the big leagues with Cleveland and then realized he'd been had. Then there was the one in which he went on about the lovely Mrs. Dye (Jermaine's wife) and how he'd run into her in an elevator and tried some of the patented Cheek moves on her, but she wasn't buying. His talent and personality had no ceiling. They were infinite. That's why this is so hard, even though it was inevitable.
I was 7 when he started here. I was 35 when he did that last glorious inning in Tampa. I don't remember a time when his fabulous voice wasn't in my life and now it's been taken away forever. This is absolutely on par with losing a close friend or relative. In fact, I don't remember crying this much about losing someone save one instance.
I hope someone will be able to gather up the classic Cheek moments from this remarkable career. I'm not just talking about the great baseball calls, which were many, but the in between moments that string together a baseball game. They need to be preserved, like priceless artifacts.
Thankyou Tom and Thankyou Cheek family for giving us your husband/father/grandfather/uncle, even on the days when you might have wanted him to be with you. My thoughts are with you at this most difficult time.

truefan - Tuesday, October 11 2005 @ 03:19 PM EDT (#129984) #
I posted the following to Batter's Box on April 8, 2005 [the opening day victory against Tampa Bay] which turned out to be Tom's last time on the air. It was a great feeling, never again to be duplicated.

"I turned on Monday's opening day radio broadcast at the top of the fourth inning. Tom, you were back at the mike only 2 weeks after surgery. Catalanotto gets on base, Hudson yanks one out, and Wells follows with one to the catwalk. Three batters, three runs, it's opening day, the sun was shining, Tom back at the mike, and the world is a pretty good place after all. It's great to hear you again, Tom."

Thanks, Tom, for all you've added to our last 28 summers.
Gardiner West - Thursday, October 13 2005 @ 12:29 AM EDT (#130053) #
Even before his passing, anytime I listened to his call of Joe Carter's series-winning HR it brought a tear to my eye. The voice may have been silenced, but we will all smile when we think of Tom Cheek.

Pray for his family and fell good in the fact that he is now at peace.
Named For Hank - Thursday, October 13 2005 @ 11:10 AM EDT (#130065) #
When I heard the news I sat in the car and cried.

There are over 4,300 reasons that Tom will not be forgotten, thankfully. That's quite the legacy.
Tom Cheek | 42 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.