Cheek honored as part of pregame ceremonies
TORONTO -- The Blue Jays opened the 2013 season by paying tribute to Hall of Fame broadcaster Tom Cheek.
The former voice of the Blue Jays passed away almost eight years ago, but in December he was named the recipient of this year's Ford C. Frick Award.
The award is presented to broadcasters for "major contributions to baseball" and also means Cheek will be induced into the broadcasters wing of the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown in July.
Cheek was honored with an audio tribute prior to Tuesday night's game against the Indians as the Blue Jays showcased some of the highlights from his broadcasting career, including the infamous "Touch 'em all Joe" from Joe Carter's home run in the 1993 World Series.
The Blue Jays also presented new hardware to some of their recent offseason additions during the pregame ceremony. Mark Buehrle was honored with a 2012 National League Gold Glove Award while R.A. Dickey received his 2012 NL Cy Young Award.
Danielle Wade from the Wizard of Oz musical sang the national anthems. During the anthem, a large group of varsity athletes from the University of Toronto unveiled a 300-by-150 foot Canadian flag, which took up the entire outfield.
The Blue Jays and Indians also paid tribute to those slain during the Newtown, Conn., school shootings with a moment of silence.
The honorary first-pitch duties were assigned to Rush lead vocalist Geddy Lee, who received a standing ovation from the sold-out crowd at Rogers Centre after firing a strike to right-hander Brandon Morrow.