Blue Jays: Thank you to Jerry Howarth for all the great memories

TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 24: Brett Gardner
TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 24: Brett Gardner /

Today is a very sad day for fans of the Toronto Blue Jays when it was announced on the Jeff Blair Show on Fan590 that longtime radio broadcaster Jerry Howarth would be retiring immediately from doing games. It’s unclear as to the exact date of when Howarth decided to make the decision to step away, but Jeff Blair and Stephen Brunt have known about it for a little while. Regardless, it’s been a fun 36 years for Jerry Howarth and the Blue Jays organization.

I can’t say that I can pinpoint a specific Jerry Howarth call that I love hearing the most. Of course, stuff like Jose Bautista‘s 50th home run, his bat flip, or Edwin Encarnacion‘s walk-off in the wildcard game instantly come to mind as incredible calls. However, I was at both of the bat flips and walk off games so I didn’t hear them done live, which is why I can’t pinpoint a favourite. I also attend lots of games at the Rogers Centre, which also leads me to not being able to pinpoint a favourite Jerry Howarth call. But that’s okay, because maybe every time I hear his voice, it makes me happy. Every single time I hear Jerry Howarth calling a ball game, it’s my favourite.

There are no words that can describe what hearing Jerry Howarth’s voice does for me. It strives me to want to be either be a commentator, a radio host, or something where people can be impacted by my knowledge of baseball and associate my voice with their memories of watching baseball. I once remember being in the radio booth to announce the 2013 OUA All-Star game at Rogers Centre and I pretended to be Jerry.

Jerry Howarth’s voice always puts a smile on my face even if its a radio segment in the middle of the winter. Hearing his voice gets me giddy that baseball is right around the corner or that it is simply being talked about on the radio. Hearing his voice takes me to the middle of summer on a cold winter. I instantly feel warmer because Jerry Howarth’s voice makes it feel like it’s the middle of the summer.

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Whenever I hear Jerry Howarth’s voice, I can picture myself lying on the trampoline at my cottage. I would foolishly hold my phone above my head as I swam out to the trampoline to lie in the sun, drink a few cold beers, and listen to Blue Jays baseball. This became quite a frequent occurrence the past few summers going back to 2013. It’s a wonder how I didn’t drop my phone into Lake Muskoka. It’s also no surprise that I would always go over my data limits in the summer months as I would stream the games from my phone all to listen to Jerry.

I don’t think that there’s a commentator out there that has made me feel as happy as I do whenever I hear Jerry Howarth. Chris Cuthbert and Glen Suitor of the CFL on TSN make me feel good. NFL commentators Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Cris Collinsworth, and Al Michaels make me feel good. While of these names are great and I can associate many good memories listening to them, perhaps they aren’t able to give me the euphoria like Jerry Howarth can because there’s something truly unique about listening to a baseball radio commentator.

In baseball, you get to listen to the same commentator every single day from as early as March for Spring Training and if you’re lucky, to October in the post-season. They take you on an adventure from seasons beginning to seasons end through the good and the bad. They become every bit a part of your day as going to work or working out at the gym. You can always guarantee to hear your teams baseball commentator every single night.

I think that’s why today is so sad. Every moment I got to hear Jerry Howarth call a Blue Jays game starting in 2005 to the end of 2017 was my favourite. I always wanted to be like Jerry Howarth when I heard him do a game. His voice always made me feel warm, excited, and like I was at the ballpark even in the middle of winter. His voice takes me to the cottage or on a baseball road trip with friends. Listening to Jerry Howarth during a game, after a game, re-watching highlights, or on a radio segment the day after a game became a routine in my day-to-day life during baseball season. That routine is now being taken away from me and so many others out there who were blessed to listen to his call.

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Thank you for all the memories, Jerry Howarth. I don’t think anybody will be able to have the impact as a commentator like you did on me. You better believe your signature sayings of “Hello friends this is Jerry Howarth” or “Yes sir, there she goes” will last with me forever. All the best in retirement Jerry.