Goodbye To These Famous Words, “Hello friends, this is Jerry Howarth.”
News broke early this morning that the legendary Jerry Howarth has announced his retirement and will not be the radio broadcaster for our Toronto Blue Jays. And cue the big millennial sigh followed by an ol’ fashion geez and then a big Canadian: “Thank You, Eh!”
Jerry had this to say about his retirement:
“I had every intention of continuing my career into the 2018 season but my health and stamina and continuing voice issues dictated otherwise,” said Howarth. “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? I am blessed and I am grateful. I thank everyone who has made this journey of mine so rewarding in every way.”
I don’t know what the summer will be like for many of us Canadians without the comforting voice of Jerry Howarth calling the game that we love. He has been a part of our lives every summer, and it just won’t be the same without him.
He had an awesome 36-year-run as the good Birds of Summer’s radio voice that so many of us listened to as kids growing up in the eighties, nineties, and into the Y2Ks, as we slowly – or quickly - grew into adulthood.
I will never forget living at 50 Stephanie St. about ten years ago – my first apartment in Toronto, an old building in front of Grange Park. I didn’t have cable, or anything - really, so I listened to as many games as I could on the good ol’ radio with a couple of tall cans and Jerry Howarth almost every summer night. I was young, broke, and happy – it didn’t take much. And Howarth was there.
He has been in our backyards, up at our cottages, and, of course, with us during afternoon summer drives. He was the voice of our Toronto Blue Jays and will live in us all for many years to come. It’s only a matter of time before we see his name on the Level of Excellence – hopefully sooner than later.
And let's - for the sake of all things Jerry and awesome - listen to him call Jose Bautista's epic home run that bat-flipped our nation!