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Veteran Blue Jays' broadcaster retires

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TORONTO—Longtime Toronto Blue Jays' radio broadcaster Jerry Howarth will not return to the booth in 2018.

Howard announced his retirement today after 36 years of calling Jays' games.

The 71-year-old said he made the decision due to health issues that have affected his voice in recent years.

“I had every intention of continuing my career into the 2018 season, but my health and stamina and continuing voice issues dictated otherwise,” said Howarth.

“Who knew that I would spend more than half my life in Toronto with my wife, Mary, and our two sons, Ben and Joe, doing what I love to do most, reaching out to friends and fans alike across our great country to talk baseball?” he noted.

“I am blessed and I am grateful,” Howarth added.

“I thank everyone who has made this journey of mine so rewarding in every way.”

There was no immediate word on who Howarth's successor would be.

Howarth, a native of York, Pa. who was raised in San Francisco, began his broadcast career in 1974 with the Tacoma Twins of the Pacific Coast League.

He joined the Blue Jays in 1981 and has called Toronto home ever since, eventually becoming a Canadian citizen.

“Jerry is an absolute legend in this industry,” said Scott Moore, president of Sportsnet and NHL Properties.

"He's been a dedicated and consummate professional covering the Blue Jays for more than three decades.

“His longevity is exceptional and it speaks to, not only his talent as a broadcaster, but also his incredible passion for baseball,” Moore added.

“He is beloved by Blue Jays' fans across the country and has left an indelible impression on us all.”

In 2012, Howarth was honoured by the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame with the Jack Graney Award for lifetime contributions to baseball in Canada.

He also was awarded the Sports Media Canada award for Achievement in Broadcasting both in 2003, with then broadcast partner Tom Cheek, and again individually in 2016.

Howarth called Toronto's back-to-back World Series victories in 1992 and 1993 with Cheek, who died in 2005 from brain cancer.

Howarth worked the Sportsnet 590 The Fan booth last season with Joe Siddall and Mike Wilner.

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