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February 7, 2019 9:04 pm  #1

Jerry Howarth Writes Book On His Broadcasting Career

On Feb. 13th, it will be exactly one year since Jerry Howarth announced he was retiring as the voice of the Blue Jays, following prostate cancer surgery and problems with his voice. (I will never forget where I was when I heard this - sitting in my radiologist's waiting room, where he was going to give me an update on my own battle with the disease. With nothing else to do, I posted this thread to SOWNY from his office.) 

Anyway, you'd expect a guy who voiced almost every Blue Jay game for 36 straight years to have a few stories to tell. And he does, in a new book called "Hello, Friends! Stories from My Life and Blue Jays Baseball." It talks about how he got into sports broadcasting, taking a chance by leaving law school to pursue his dream of being a baseball play-by-play guy. Sounds like he made the right choice!

The book comes out on March 5th. Expect to hear more of that famous voice as he makes the rounds plugging the new tome.  

More here


February 8, 2019 12:40 am  #2

Re: Jerry Howarth Writes Book On His Broadcasting Career

Jerry Howarth is one of the classiest people I've ever worked with.  Everybody loves Jerry (and for good reason).  I was Executive Producer at Telemedia Network Radio (Telemedia also owned CJCL, aka The Fan, at that time and held the radio rights to the Blue Jays).  I remember not long after Jerry was hired, Len Bramson, the President of Telemedia Network called me into his office and asked me if I could find a microphone that deepened Jerry's voice as the contrast between Tom Cheek's booming voice and Jerry's troubled him.  I told him we could always equalize Jerry's voice, but recommended that the contrast between the two was actually a good thing.  Len thought about it for awhile then changed the subject.  He never brought it up again.  Tom and Jerry worked incredibly well together for several decades until Tom's passing.  I'm sure Jerry's book will be a best seller.  I certainly will be buying one..  .  .  .     


February 27, 2019 1:20 pm  #3

Re: Jerry Howarth Writes Book On His Broadcasting Career

In an interview tubthumping his new book, Howarth admits he had doubts about whether he could make it in the big time after his first broadcast with Tom Cheek. 

"After the game, he wasn’t sure what to make of his performance. He hadn’t been nervous, he made clear — just pumped up.

“On Saturday, the adrenaline flow was down to about 20 percent,” Jerry said. “I thought to myself, Jerry, can you do this? I wasn’t sure.”

A Conversation with Jerry Howarth

He also recalls how he made sure to treat others fairly and always tried to call them by their proper names.

The guy was amazing at this. I met him just twice over the years. The first time was when he came into our newsroom around 1983 or so. We were introduced briefly and then about a year or so later, he came back - and to my amazement, he called me by my first name. There was absolutely no reason he would have remembered me, let alone my given name. Yet he did. 

Amazing memory, but that may have been one of the talents that made him such a success.

     Thread Starter

March 10, 2019 10:51 am  #4

Re: Jerry Howarth Writes Book On His Broadcasting Career

I'm not a big fan of Michael Enright, because I generally find him to be pretty pompous on his CBC Radio show, The Sunday Edition. But this weekend, he featured an extensive 38 minute interview with Jerry Howarth and I learned a few things about him that I'm sure are outlined in his new book. 

Among them:

-The single phone call that led him to leave law school for a shot at broadcasting.

-The fact he was actually in charge of a minor league team - while at the same time calling all their games. 

-Why he almost didn't apply to Toronto for the job - and the fact he didn't even know where Toronto was

-The blowback when he was critical on air of one of the Blue Jays players and how it almost soured one of the biggest deals in club history.

-The indecipherable scorecard he made out every game and what it really meant.

-His decision to let Tom Cheek take the final half inning of the Jays' first World Series win

-And the reason he let the crowd noise go on and on for a full minute without saying a word, after one of the most famous moments in recent Blue Jays history. 

And that's just part of it. It's long, but if you have time, it's worth a listen - if only to remind you how much he's missed from the current broadcast.

The Blue Jays according to Jerry Howarth

     Thread Starter

March 10, 2019 1:01 pm  #5

Re: Jerry Howarth Writes Book On His Broadcasting Career

I heard most of the first game Jerry called for the Jays. He was on with Tom and Early Wynn for a series at Tiger Stadium over the US Fourth of July holiday in 1980. At the time, I lived in Detroit where CHYR wasn't DX at night, wanted a sample of their pattern and freq change, and got it during the game. He'd mention this first game every now and then on PBP all the way thru his last season. It had to be memorable, and I always wanted to let him know I heard it.

Having said that: the question that still goes unanswered, that no one seems willing to ask, that I hope the book answers, remains: why did he wait until February (2018) to announce his retirement, giving the Jays a month, maybe, to (solicit tapes and) find a replacement? And IMO forcing them to go with a quickie solution, the most unlistenable by far anncr in either league. Every time I hear Screecho call a home run, or say "the kick and the come home," I think: if only Jerry had given them more time ...

Last edited by TomSanders (March 10, 2019 1:17 pm)


March 11, 2019 9:00 am  #6

Re: Jerry Howarth Writes Book On His Broadcasting Career

I worked with Jerry a couple of decades ago at CJCL.  Those were the days that if you worked for the Jays in summer, you had to work at the radio station in the winter.  I think it was the opposite for Joe Bowan.  Winter with the Leafs and summers at CJCL.  Jerry was sure relieved when that Changed.  He was hired by two people, one of which was the sister of my neighbour John.  Her name was Sue Rayson.  During that time Jerry and the family came over to our house for dinner and afterwards played scrabble.  I bring that up; because you don't want to bet the farm when playing with Jerry.  He is a real ringer.

One of the kindest gentleman I ever met in the business. I wish we had stayed in touch; but I will be buying the book Jerry.  God Bess.