Jerry Howarth, 71, will retire from calling Blue Jays games

Jerry Howarth will retire from his play-by-play duties calling Blue Jays games immediately, he has announced. Howarth, who joined original Blue Jays announcer Tom Cheek in 1981, says his health, stamina and continuing voice issues dictated the move. “Who knew that I would spend more than half my life in Toronto with my wife, Mary, and our two sons, Ben and Joe, doing what I love to do most, reaching out to friends and fans alike across our great country to talk baseball?” he told Canadian Press. Howarth has broadcast an estimated 7,500 professional baseball games in his career. A native of York, Pa., who was raised in San Francisco, Howarth began his broadcast career in 1974 with the Tacoma Twins of the Pacific Coast League. Howarth called Toronto’s back-to-back World Series victories in 1992 and 1993 with Cheek, who died in 2005 from brain cancer. The radio audience for Blue Jays games has shrunk over the years with the elimination of television blackouts, but there may still be a need for such a service among commuters. Still, it may also be possible to simply simulcast TV broadcasts to radio. Time will tell.

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