We're as disappointed as anyone else by the announcement that Tom Cheek has once again been denied entry into the Hall of Fame through the Ford Frick Award. It means another year of campaigning to get him on the ballot, and another year of wincing and waiting to hear that someone else has received the nod.
We see the anger in the comments here and at other Jays blogs, and we loved the post that Cheek's former colleague Mike Wilner wrote yesterday about this year's snub. There remains a lot of love out there for Tom, and we don't think that there's a Blue Jays fan out there that doesn't long to hear his dulcet tones, if only just for one more inning. He was unquestionably the voice of baseball in Canada, and amongst the great radio voices in the game.
But here's the thing.
We've gone through this process for a few years now, and we've had this reaction of anger and frustration when we felt like Bob Costas and his cabal of fatuous ugly Americans did us wrong. We've thrown up our arms and felt slighted and felt like Tom was ignored because he was broadcasting baseball in Canada, and the dough headed, right-wing, flat-Earth goofballs who run the Hall of Fame will never give our boy the recognition he deserves.
But (and this is going sound weird coming from a baseball fan, for whom Cooperstown is supposed to mean everything) we're just not sweating the Hall of Fame anymore. We don't need their recognition or their approval to recognize what a great man Tom Cheek was.
We'll continue to push people to nominate him year-in and year-out, and we'll celebrate if and when Tom finally gets the nod. But we're not going to get all bilious about our reaction to his not getting in, because we don't think that is a reaction that befits the man that we want to see honoured. In our heart of hearts, we're already comfortable with knowing how much of an impact he has had on baseball in our country.
Moreover, we rest easy with the fact that Tom Cheek is enshrined in Canada's Baseball Hall of Fame, and he is enshrined on the Blue Jays' Level of Excellence.
Most importantly, Tom Cheek is enshrined in the collective soul of Blue Jays fans. We think that he'd be pleased as punch to know that.