Tom Cheek – 2013 Ford C. Frick Recipient. Mandatory Credit – Flickr – More of Tom’s“Touch ’em all Joe! You’ll never hit a bigger home run in your life.”
Perhaps the most iconic words ever spoken in the history of the Toronto Blue Jays organization. Tom Cheek’s call of Joe Carter‘s game winning home run in the 1993 World Series is one of the memories that keeps Blue Jays fans coming back year after year. Now, at long last, Cheek will receive another honor that is befitting of his status in Blue Jays history.
On Wednesday, Cheek was named the 2013 recipient of the Ford C. Frick Award. Cheek will receive the award post-humously after passing away on October 9, 2005 as the result of a brain tumor.
The Ford C. Frick Award is presented yearly by the National Baseball Hall of Fame to a broadcaster who has shown excellence in his or her field and made major contributions to the game of baseball. The recipient is selected by a 21-person board, including the 16 current living recipients and 5 historians/columnists. The eligible candidates, who served a minimum of 10 years of continuous service with a club, network, or both, are judged based on longevity, honors, nationals assignments, and popularity with the fans.
Those criteria accurately describe the well-liked Cheek, who served as the radio voice for the Toronto Blue Jays from the moment of their inception to the point where he was forced to undergo emergency surgery to remove the tumor. In all, Cheek called 4306 regular-season games and 41 postseason match-ups for the Blue Jays. He also served as a member of the broadcast teams for both the 1980 and 1984 Winter Olympics.
Tom Cheek was added to the Blue Jays Level of Excellence in 2005, signified by the number 4306 which commemorates his streak. The Canadian Sports Hall of Fame also created the Tom Cheek Media Leadership Award in his honor, making him the first recipient of the award shortly before he passed in 2005.
2013 was Cheek’s ninth appearance on the ballot for the Ford C. Frick Award. His family will be presented with the award during Hall of Fame induction ceremonies on July 27-28 in Cooperstown, NY.