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Tom Cheek called 4,306 Blue Jays games in a row over 27 years. ((Frank Gunn/Canadian Press))

Tom Cheek, the late TorontoBlue Jays radio broadcaster who started his career with the then Montreal Expos,has been named a finalist for the Ford C. Frick Award for a third straight year.

The award is given annually at the National Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremonies for excellence in broadcasting.

It is named after Hall of Famer Ford C. Frick, a renowned sportswriter, radio broadcaster, National League president and baseball commissioner.

Cheek diedin October2005 at age66 after a long battle with brain cancer.

Dizzy Dean, Ken Harrelson, Bill King, Tony Kubek, France Laux, Denny Matthews, Graham McNamee, Dave Niehaus and Joe Nuxhall are the other finalists.

The winner will be announced Feb. 22, and honoured during the 2007 Hall of Fame weekend July 27-30 in Cooperstown, N.Y.

Gene Elston, whose baseball broadcasting career spanned 47 years, was the 2006 recipient.

Cheek covered theExpos, when they werea National League franchise,from 1974 to 1976 before moving to Toronto the following year.

He called everyToronto game since the Blue Jays' inception in 1977 until learning of his father's death on June 3, 2004.

He missed that night's broadcast to join his family in Salinas, Calif., ending a 27-plus year streak of 4,306 consecutive regular-season games plus 41 post-season contests.

In August 2005, Toronto inducted Cheek into the Level of Excellence, the club's highest award for individual achievement.

With files from the Canadian Press