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Jack Morris set to return to Blue Jays’ radio booth after not getting into Cooperstown

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Blue Jays fans can put an end to the speculations that Jerry Howarth will be looking for another new partner on the radio for 2014 as the long-time play-by-play announcer confirmed to Jays Journal’s Michael Wray that analyst Jack Morris will be returning to the booth for at least one more season. Chatter started after Bob Elliott reported that Morris "may not return to the Jays" in his annual "Most Influential Canadians" post.

At a church event, Howarth told Wray that Morris had been waiting on the Hall of Fame announcement to decide whether to continue broadcasting. Receiving just 61.5% of the votes in his last year of eligibility, Morris was dropped off of the ballot—and back into the Sportsnet 590 booth at the Rogers Centre. Considering taking time off broadcasting following a call to Cooperstown makes sense, as he could have probably made more and worked less by doing speaking tours and endorsements.

But having a Hall of Famer in the broadcast booth would not have been new for the Blue jays. The club’s inaugural broadcast team consisted of Tom Cheek on play-by-play and Hall of Fame pitcher Early Wynn as his sidekick. Although Wynn departed by 1980—making way for Jerry Howarth—he is fondly remembered for the stories he told by fans who listened to him. Cheek’s widow Shirley recalled a somewhat inappropriate joke Wynn made about certain fans who had come in from the Hooker Chemical Company.

When Jack Morris was announced as Alan Ashby’s successor, reports about him were not positive. However, he ended up being more than just tolerable—I actually enjoyed his voice in the booth, despite the fact that his chemistry with Howarth was not yet fully developed.


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