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Publisher's Summary

An honest memoir about life, family, and baseball from the longtime, legendary Toronto Blue Jays radio broadcaster

For 36 years, Jerry Howarth ushered in eternal hope each spring and thrived in the drive of each fall as the voice of the Toronto Blue Jays. In 1982, the lifelong avid sports fan joined Tom Cheek as full-time play-by-play radio announcer for the Blue Jays, and for the next 23 years, “Tom and Jerry” were the voices of the franchise. 

Jerry became part of the fabric of a nation and a team, covering historic moments like the rise of the Blue Jays through the 1980s that culminated in back-to-back World Series Championships in 1992 and 1993. His Hall of Fame-worthy broadcasting career has been nothing short of legendary. When Jerry retired in February 2018, the tributes poured in and made one thing perfectly clear: Toronto baseball would never be the same. 

Howarth brings together thoughts on life, family, work, and baseball. Featuring stories about everyone from Dave Stieb, Jack Morris, Duane Ward, Roberto Alomar, and Joe Carter to John Gibbons, Edwin Encarnacion, Josh Donaldson, and the late Roy Halladay, Hello, Friends! is a must-listen for sports fans everywhere.

©2019 Jerry Howarth (P)2019 ECW Press

What the critics say

“Howarth’s book will entertain baseball aficionados and especially delight Blue Jays fans.” (Publishers Weekly)

“Jerry Howarth is a Canadian national treasure and his story is tremendously inspiring. As joyful a person as I've ever met, Jerry made friends with millions of baseball fans during his long career and brought his warmth, humor, insights and descriptions into their living rooms. Readers of his story will have a further opportunity to revel in his positive outlook on life as well as countless fascinating memories.” (Eric Nadel, Texas Rangers radio broadcaster)

“Whether it was Blue Jays closer Tom Henke saying ‘Hellllllo, friends!’ when Jerry Howarth walked down the aisle on a team charter, an opposing player near the batting cage, or a 12-year-old self-broadcasting his sandlot game to his buddies, ‘Hello, friends!’ became Howarth’s trade mark. In fact, the two words are greeted with the same warmth and familiarity from coast to coast in Canada.” (Bob Elliott, sports journalist) 

What listeners say about Hello, Friends!

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It's Jerry

Here's the man who taught me English when I immigrated to Canada. I'm sure the written version of the book is great, but audiobooks were made for books like this. Thanks for sharing your story, Jerry!

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Jerry Howarth book is awesome!

Have listened to Jerry doing Blue Jays Games since ‘82. He’ is one of the best. He’s up there with Vince Skully, Phil Rizzuto, Bill White, Ralph Kiner, Lindsay Nelson , etc etc. His book is a must read or listen for any Blue Jay Fan

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Blue Jay Fans must listen to this

Jerry was one half of the famous Tom and Jerry who broadcasted Blue Jay games on the radio for almost 40 years. I remember listening to the games with my father in the car and brought back so many memories. A walk down memory lane with highlights, names and stories over his illustrious career. Highly recommended.

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Love listening to you Jerry

As much as I love listening to Jerry call ball games this book was just too dry for me. Jerry seems to be the all around good guy, but...

Baseball is not filled with all good guys and good stories. Needed to hear more in depth of the real baseball world. Not the rainbows and butterflies and everyone is a fantastic person.

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One of those books you don’t want to finish

Well written and well read. Jerry is a great story teller and incredibly positive. If was fun listening to him talk about his life as well as the nearly four decades of Blue Jays baseball he called on the radio.

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  • chris
  • 2019-11-28

A treasure for Blue Jays fans

I grew up listening to Tom Cheek and Jerry Howarth and during long summers away from school they were the highlight of my day. Later as an adult, I've sat through dozens of games at the skydome with Jerry as my eyes making me part of the action with the rest of the crowd. I am blind and baseball on the radio is very precious to me. So it's impossible for me to give this book an objective rating.
I do think this book would be of great interest to Blue Jay fans, though not necessarily baseball fans more generally. Jerry describes his time in the booth chronologically. He mostly describes each season by discussing individual players and sharing a couple of memorable anecdotes about each one. There were definitely stories I had not heard him mention on the radio. He discusses his formative years for the first couple hours of the book, and his strong catholic faith is a theme throughout. . I particularly enjoyed when he discussed how his broadcasting style evolved. On this topic two stories stood out to me. He described doing game recreations at the radio station when his triple A team was on the road. He also discusses how sitting next to a blind organist at a particular ball park made his descriptions much more precise.
One gentle criticism is that minor errors occasionally appeared throughout the book, where Jerry would mention an incorrect date or state the wrong year of an event. These didn't take away from the enjoyment of the book, but I am disappointed that the producers of the audio book didn't catch these. I am assuming the print version is correct and Jerry, never having done an audio book before, simply misspoke. Also, though copyright rules may prevent this, it would have been amazing if the makers of the audio book could have imbedded some of Jerry's interviews or calls from the booth to enhance his stories.
Thank you Jerry for writing this book. I miss you and baseball games are not the same without you. enjoy retirement..

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  • TG
  • 2019-11-05

A good book made better thanks to Jerry's reading

Lots of good stories on the Jays that I had forgotten...and inside baseball stuff that I had no idea.

Jerry does make reference to his faith a few times in the book... but it's pretty light dot-dot. so don't let that scare you off if that makes you uncomfortable.

To his credit, I never knew about Jerry's faith until this book - that's a pro.