Listen to a few of retiring Blue Jays announcer Jerry Howarth’s most memorable calls
For 36 years, play-by-play radio announcer Jerry Howarth—who suddenly left his job on Sportsnet’s The Fan 590 on Tuesday, citing health issues—was a constant companion to Toronto Blue Jays fans. He opened every broadcast with his signature greeting: “Hello friends, this is Jerry Howarth.” It was a fitting introduction for a guy who was known for his easygoing attitude and sincere delivery.
Howarth hangs up the mic after an incredible broadcast career that included the Jays’ World Series Championships in 1992 and 1993, along with the team’s exhilarating playoff drives in 2015 and 2016. For practically every major moment in Blue Jays history, Howarth was there.
He has had his fair share of memorable calls since he started with the Blue Jays as a radio commentator in 1981, and then as a member of the full-time broadcast team in 1982. Here are some of the most iconic ones from the past few years.
“Yes sir, there she goes.”
(Jose Bautista’s bat flip home run in 2015)
Howarth’s call here is simple, but sweet. After having his brief say, he lets the deafening Rogers Centre crowd bask in the moment. After one of the most memorable plays in Blue Jays history, he sat back and let the fans take over the radio.
“Ball game Blue Jays.”
(The Blue Jays win the 2015 ALDS)
After the Jays took a 6-3 lead over the Texas Rangers, courtesy of a clutch Jose Bautista home run, pitcher Roberto Osuna picked up the save and sent the team to the American League Championship series for the first time since 1993.
“Yes sir, the Blue Jays are going to Texas.”
(The Blue Jays win the 2016 wild card game)
With one swing of the bat, Edwin Encarnacion propelled the Blue Jays past the Baltimore Orioles in the 2016 American League Wild Card game. Within seconds, the stadium erupted. Howarth’s call will go down as one of the best of his career.
“Bedlam here at the Rogers Centre.”
(The Blue Jays advance to the 2016 ALCS)
The entire country was on pins and needles as Josh Donaldson made a dramatic dash towards home plate in Game 3 of the 2016 ALDS. Howarth perfectly captured the cacophony at the Rogers Centre as the Blue Jays celebrated their second consecutive trip to the ALCS.
“That ball is up, up…”
(Justin Smoak’s walk-off home run)
In baseball, there’s no play more exciting than a walk-off home run. Howarth called dozens of them over his career as the Blue Jays’ play-by-play man, but he never lost his unbridled excitement.
“Fly ball, deep left field”
(Troy Tulowitzki’s grand slam)
Whenever Howarth uttered the phrase “fly ball, deep left field,” Blue Jays fans knew exactly what to expect: a monster home run by the home team. This grand slam from Troy Tulowitzki in September 2016 was yet another example of Howarth’s impressive enthusiasm behind the mic.
“Yes sir, there’s a walk-off home run
(Ryan Goins’s walk-off homer in September 2015)
The only way to describe the city of Toronto in September of 2015? Pure euphoria. The Blue Jays were well on their way to extinguishing their 22-year playoff drought, and then Ryan Goins made this memorable walk-off home run. Howarth was every bit as excited as the fans were.