Two memory burn moments with Don Chevrier, the first TV voice of the Blue Jays.
One is of a dullish Wednesday night Jays-Royals game, probably in 1987. George Brett was batting and Chevrier intoned, drily, "Oh, they still talk about George's hemorrhoids," referring to a nasty affliction that had kept the future Hall of Famer out of the lineup for a few games a few years earlier. No snark; it was just a boring game that needed some spicing up. He was rewarding a 10-year-old boy watching at home for paying attention.
Then there was a Saturday afternoon game in June 1989, right after the Skydome opened. The Jays were getting pounded about 8-0 by the Detroit Tigers. Xavier Hernández, a rookie reliever, came into pitch.
Cue Chevrier: "It's a little late for Xavier to be a saviour."
The way it's remembered is that Chevrier just let the game come to him, which is almost heresy nowadays. He didn't rant and rave. He didn't strain vocal cords, since he realized you wait for the Big Moments to come. He wasn't trying to be comedian, but he knew there was a place for mining laughs from the human comedy that is sports.
He was one of those play-by-play pros who let their work speak for him, who tell you everything without telling you all about themselves. Dave Hodge is an example of that archetype. So is Bob Cole, so is Verne Lundquist on CBS. This isn't some sad bastard lament or a youngish man's nostalgia for a period he didn't experience, but it's a sign of a better era in sports broadcasting slipping away when you hear that Don Chevrier has passed.
Rest in peace, Chevy.
Chevrier passes away (William Houston, globesports.com)