Toronto - From the chilling winds of April at the old Exhibition Stadium to the comfort of the Rogers Centre, there is one still standing and another that will never be forgotten.
When I started writing and covering the Toronto Blue Jays for the local Spanish media, I remember that the first people I met were Tom Cheek and immediately Jerry Howarth, who introduced themselves and showed me the ropes around the park.
It was at that moment that I realized I was standing in front of greatness. Jerry walked around the club house like he owned it, and the players were always looking to speak with him. While Jerry was in the club house getting the story, Tom was out by the batting cage analyzing the insights of the players’ power source.
This dynamic baseball duo came to life in the 1982 season. This was the start of the Blue Jays transformation from a follower to a contender, with one of the best outfields in baseball consisting of Bell, Barfield, and Moseby.
I always asked myself what made a great sports journalist and I came to one answer while covering the Blue Jays. A great sports journalist is not only the individual who knows the most, but it is the one who is respected by his peers and others as an example of what to do and how to conduct yourself in and out of the park.
Tom and Jerry are a clear example of all what’s good in the game and the industry. They were not only a team of great knowledge of the game but they were always one step ahead of everyone in bringing to their followers every game a new pieces of information to their followers, captivating their attention every single game.
Jerry always found the way of bringing the action to life with his play-by-play commentaries, while Tom complemented him with unbelievable insight into the players thought process, whether at the plate or outside the ballpark.
I clearly remember the excitement they created for the fans in Toronto during the two World Series championships, calling Joe Carter's Home run, Kelly Gruber’s famous Braves chop run from third base at Turner Field, etc.
It was a sad day not only for Toronto but for the baseball world when in 2005 Tom lost his battle with cancer, and this duo was split forever. Jerry continues to bring to us the excitement of the game all season long and to keep alive the memory of his long time partner Tom Cheek.
Tom and Jerry will always be the statue of what good journalistic integrity will be measured in Toronto and in Baseball World.