Saturday, January 08, 2011

Into the Hall Roberto!

Finally the Baseball Hall of Fame has recognized the Toronto Blue Jays as actually existing in the anals of major league baseball history.  There have many tries but so far no luck until Thursday.

Many have tried to get the late famous Blue Jay broadcaster Tom Cheek in by honouring him with the Frick Award for broadcasting.  The Frick award, as described by the Canadian Press (via this Toronto Star article):

The honour is given out annually by the Baseball Hall of Fame for excellence in broadcasting based on longevity, continuity with a club, honours, national assignments such as the World Series and all-star Games, plus popularity with fans.

Tom Cheek matches all of the above by calling over 4,306 consecutive Blue Jay games, Two World Series (Toronto Blue Jays 1992 & 1993), American League Playoff Games (Toronto Blue Jays 1985, 1989, 1992 & 1993) and I would dare anyone in Toronto, Ontario or Canada to find anyone who disliked Tom Cheek on the radio.  Tom has the Frick Award credentials aced. In fact he would be so good he could be called "Dr. Cheek of baseball broadcasting" for his longevity, quality and quantity of baseball games called.  But sadly no, he is still waiting to be elected the Frick Award and be installed in the Hall of Fame. 

Jack Morris, who pitched during the 1992 Blue Jay World Series winning season is also due for the Hall of Fame.  But in his thirteenth round of being on the ballot he is loosing steam at just over fifty percent of the balloting.  Sadly it looks like he won't be destined for the Hall as he only has two more tries before he is removed from the ballot permanently. Although, if Jack was to be elected, he probably wouldn't be elected as a Blue Jay (i.e. seen in the Hall of Fame with a Blue Jays cap) as he had several good seasons  with the Minnesota Twins.

But there is good news.  Former Blue Jay Second Baseman Roberto Alomar on his second attempt was elected with ninety percent of the vote.  I still remember Roberto Alomar's glory days of the early 1990s when he played second base.  Between him and Centre Field speedster Devon White, they had the top of the Blue Jays batting order sewn up.  Watching either or both of them on the bases would give any pitcher the willies that a base would be stolen.  Then there was Alomar's glove.  His was one of the best in baseball with ten gold gloves for his position at second base.  He was a master at diving and catching balls that hit anywhere else would have eluded the second basan.  But not Alomar, he would get the out no questions asked.  A big congratulations to Roberto for finally getting in the Hall. 

There is still more good news about Blue Jays of the past getting into the Hall of Fame.  Pat Gillick, the Blue Jays General Manager (GM) has also been elected into the Hall of Fame.  Pat was the GM through the agravating 1980s and 1990s when the Blue Jays kept falling short of even getting to the World Series.  Pat kept on trying by making the trades, watching the talent in the farm system develop and going gray and bald pulling his hair out while trying to do it.  Pat and the Toronto Blue Jays finally pulled it off with not one, but two World Series Wins back to back. 

Those were the days of the Toronto Blue Jays.  The main question wasn't "Who will represent Toronto on the All Star Team?" but "how many Blue Jay players and coaches will there be on the All Star Team?" Times have sure changed.  This past season I didn't go to a Blue Jays game, the team can barely contend in their division.  Every year it is the same old story, in the spring the team says "this is going to be the year..." and then half way through the season..."we'll be better next still come watch the players...because we will do it next year..."  Right. I bought that the first couple of years but will not anymore until I see the evidence screaming back at me in July or August with the Toronto Blue Jays near the top of the standings.   Until then, I might listen to them on the radio the odd time, but that will be all. I've been hornswoggled enough. 

Oh the glory years!  Roberto, Jack, Pat and the many others.   Hopefully Joltin' Joe Carter can land in the Baseball Hall of Fame as he also was a five time All Star, was a key player in Two World Series wins (remember a certain home run in 1993? "TOUCH EM ALL JOE!" Remember a certain player playing first base catching the ball for the final out in 1992?) and pretty well also hit more than 100 RBIs per season every year he played.  It would be nice to see another Blue Jays cap in the Hall of Fame, Joltin' Joe would be your next best bet...especially when after him there isn't much hope for a while of another Blue Jays player even making the ballot considering the seasons the Jays have had lately.   Oh for the glory years....until the glory years return...INTO THE HALL ROBERTO!


  1. I remember Joe Carter and Mitch Williams- vividly.

  2. How could we forget about Mitch Williams? The old Philidelphia Phillis pitcher brought in to end the game and failed...

    Tom Cheek's famous radio call "Touch em all Joe!..." was the result.


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