Baseball

Cheek returns to broadcast booth

Long-time Blue Jays broadcaster Tom Cheek is back for 2005 season

An old familiar voice will once again filter through the radio when the Toronto Blue Jays kick off the 2005 season.

Veteran broadcaster Tom Cheek, who missed parts of last season while undergoing treatment for cancer of the brain, will be back behind the microphone with long-time partner Jerry Howarth for another year of Blue Jays baseball on the Fan 590.

"The two most important parts of my life are family and baseball," Cheek said in a press release. "I am blessed with a wonderful family and I am definitely looking forward to this year's Jays season."

Cheek's health, he continues to undergo chemotherapy, will not allow him to take part in every broadcast, but he'll be there for Toronto's April 4 opener in Tampa Bay.

"We're thrilled to have Tom return to the FAN's broadcast booth for another season," said Chuck McCoy, vice-president of Toronto radio operations for Rogers Media Inc.

Cheek witnessed every Blue Jays game from Bill Singer's first pitch on April 7, 1977 until June 3, 2004 when he missed one to attend his father's funeral – an incredible span of 27 ½ years. He was diagnosed with cancer just 10 days later.

Cheek returned to the broadcasting booth just six weeks after undergoing surgery to remove a brain tumour.

He was nominated for the Ford C. Frick Award, presented annually by the Hall of Fame to a broadcaster for outstanding contributions to baseball, this year. He lost to longtime San Diego Padres' voice Jerry Coleman.