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Big League Stew

Tom Cheek finally gets Hall of Fame nod, late Blue Jays broadcaster told Joe Carter to ‘touch ‘em all!’

Kevin Kaduk
Big League Stew

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(AP)

Touch 'em all, Tom Cheek fans!

The long wait to see the late Toronto Blue Jays broadcaster win the Hall of Fame's Ford C. Frick Award finally ended on Wednesday morning when it was announced that Cheek will be posthumously honored in Cooperstown next July.

"Tom Cheek was the voice of summer for generations of baseball fans in Canada and beyond," said Hall of Fame president Jeff Idelson. "He helped a nation understand the elements of the game and swoon for the summer excitement that the expansion franchise brought a hockey-crazed nation starting in the late 1970s. He then authored the vocal narrative of a team that evolved into one of the most consistent clubs of the 1980s and 1990s. We are thrilled to celebrate Tom's legacy with baseball broadcasting's highest honor."

Cheek was the man on the radio mike for the franchise's first game in 1977 and would go on to broadcast 4,306 straight Blue Jays games before taking off two games in 2004 after the death of his father. He then had a brain tumor removed later that month, but lost his battle with cancer on Oct. 9, 2005 at the age of 66.

Since then, Blue Jays fans have passionately argued that Cheek was deserving of the top honor for baseball broadcasters and he was a routine finalist on the Frick ballot. A big campaign led by a Toronto radio personality led to Cheek winning the award's online ballot for the fans earlier this year.

Cheek's most famous call, of course, came in Game 6 of the 1993 World Series when he yelled for Joe Carter to "touch 'em all" because he'd "never hit a bigger home run" than the one that sealed the Jays' second straight world championship. But Cheek had a much deeper list of greatest hits, which "Toronto Mike" has embedded on this page. From the first home run in team history to the ending moments of Dave Stieb's no-hitter, they're all there. Please enjoy and maybe raise the Canadian-brewed beverage of your choice in Cheek's memory later today.

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