“Hello, Friends! Stories From My Life and Blue Jays Baseball” by Jerry Howarth
Baseball, memoir, broadcasting, Blue Jays
March 5, 2019
3 of 5 stars (good)
When a broadcaster does the games for one team for a long time, that person will have a vast collection of stories to share. That is the case for Jerry Howarth, who was a radio broadcaster for the Toronto Blue Jays from 1982 to 2017. He shares many of those stories and some about himself as well in this memoir.
As one might imagine, a person who has had the same job for 36 years will have a wide variety of stories to tell. Of course, he shares his recollections on famous moments in Blue Jays history, such as Joe Carter’s walk-off home run to win the 1993 World Series and the famous bat flip by Jose Bautista in the 2015 American League Division Series against the Texas Rangers. However, what makes the book a little different from other collections of stories like this are all the personal connections Howarth had with so many Blue Jays players and personnel over the years.
Some of these stories will be sad, such as the death of Howarth’s long time broadcast partner, Tom Cheek. His telling of the last half inning Cheek called for the Blue Jays will make the toughest of readers generate at least a sniffle. But many, many more of them are uplifting and tell about the successes and positive accomplishments of the subject, especially if it was a player. Howarth rarely has a bad thing to say about anyone in this book.
The most interesting part of the book turned out to be the beginning as he tells his tale of how he sent tapes of college games he broadcast and his jobs in sports outside of broadcasting. He worked for a few years for the Utah Jazz before starting his broadcasting career doing the games of the AAA Tacoma Twins. While this read much like any other memoir, it was good material and advice for readers who may wish to pursue this profession. The rest of the book with its storytelling is much like any other collection of stories, fictional as well as non-fictional – some good, some not so good (either very short or just telling the reader “Hey, I talked once to so-and-so).
Overall, this book is one that Blue Jays fans will certainly enjoy and fans of other teams may like as well. If nothing else, Howarth can say he has shared a treasure trove of stories that many generations of Blue Jays fans will pass along from generation to generation.
I wish to thank ECW Press for providing a copy of the book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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