08/09 Blue Jays Library in a Box: Road to Glory

Monday, August 24 2009 @ 10:39 PM EDT

Contributed by: Matthew E

Okay, so I'm way off the monthly schedule. Still: never say die!

Title: Road to Glory
# Pages: 318
Published: Warwick Publishing Inc., 1993
Availability: Out of print.

Written By: Tom Cheek with Howard Berger
Who Is: Tom Cheek broadcast every Toronto Blue Jays game from 1977 to mid-2004. He is much missed. Berger, who seemed to be Cheek's fact-checker in this book, is now the Toronto Maple Leafs' radio stringer.

What It's About: It's about the Toronto Blue Jays, 1977-1992, as observed by Tom Cheek.

How's the Writing: Terrible. Cheek writes like he speaks, which is fine for radio but not for prose. It leads to all kinds of excesses that a strong editor should catch, but the book doesn't seem to have been edited. I'm not going to criticize a book for having typos, but there are spelling mistakes, consistent typeface errors, grammatical mistakes... It's a very sloppy job.

Not to mention a couple of things that Cheek himself says that are mangled right from the start. From page 18 of my edition, here's Cheek talking about how the 1992 Jays always seemed to make things difficult for themselves: "There was the Blue Jay way and the easy way, but with few exceptions, the team usually chose door number two." Or, from page 44 of my edition, Cheek discusses the halcyon days of the 1977 Blue Jays: "Loss of innocence is something that you can never recapture."

Despite this, I did find the book readable. I mean, I've listened to enough hours of Cheek's voice on the radio that it was no effort at all to read his prose. Doesn't mean I can say it's good, though. I'm in no rush to read it again.

Sabremetric Corner: Nothing to speak of.

Anecdotes: The part I liked best was when Cheek was talking about his pre-Jays career in the armed forces and in rock'n'roll radio. The baseball stuff we've mostly heard before.