TORONTO -- I've covered plenty of Blue Jays games for The News since 1997 but Thursday's 6-0 win over the Yankees was the first time I've been in the SkyDome/Rogers Centre with the Bisons as part of the Toronto organization.
To mark the occasion, longtime Blue Jays announcer Jerry Howarth invited me into the radio booth for an inning to chat about the new arrangement. I joined Howarth and analyst Alan Ashby (the former catcher with the Indians, Jays and Astros) to talk Blue Jays and Bisons, with a little Indians thrown in.
Howarth has been on the air with the Jays since 1981 when he joined the legendary Tom Cheek in the franchise's fifth year of existence. They formed one of the great broadcast teams in any sport in the history of Canada through the World Series years and all the way until 2004, when a terminally ill Cheek left the booth due to a brain tumor (he died in October, 2005).
Howarth is one of the truly nice guys in the game and always asks how things are in Buffalo when I come to the ballpark. So it was a definite honor to share the microphone for an inning with one of the iconic sports voices of an entire nation.
You can hear the inning through the audio clips below.
Top of the fifth:
Bottom of the fifth: