By Fred Wallace
Hi, this is Fred Wallace with " Off the Wire ".
The Toronto Blue Jays play their first Spring Training game on Friday against the Philadelphia Phillies and while it will look like Spring Training and appear that Major League Baseball is on the horizon, it will certainly sound different.
Broadcaster Jerry Howarth announced his retirement last week, ending a string of 36 years behind the mic for the Jays.
Interestingly enough, Howarth's first summer with the Jays was in 1982, the very same summer that I started my broadcasting career at 1230 CKMP in Midland, which was a Telemedia station which meant I heard a lot of Tom Cheek and Jerry Howarth.
Six years later, Jerry Howarth was the guest speaker at the Owen Sound Civic Awards and I remember how impressive he was in a down-to-earth manner.
And then, just 4 years later, in October of 1992, the Toronto Blue Jays were on the verge of winning their first ever World Series.
And while the announcer rotation protocol dictated that it was Jerry Howarth's inning to call, he made a gesture that has stayed with me for a quarter of a century....
All the best to Blue Jays longtime broadcaster Jerry Howarth.
I'm Fred Wallace