Longtime Blue Jays radio voice Jerry Howarth retires after 36 seasons

Yes sir, there he goes into a well-deserved retirement.

Jerry Howarth, the Toronto Blue Jays' iconic radio play-by-play voice, announced his retirement Tuesday after 36 seasons due to ongoing health issues relating to his voice.

"I had every intention of continuing my career into the 2018 season but my health and stamina and continuing voice issues dictated otherwise," Howarth said in a statement read on Sportsnet 590 The Fan's "Jeff Blair Show" on Tuesday morning. "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? I am blessed and I am grateful. I thank everyone who has made this journey of mine so rewarding in every way."

The 71-year-old Howarth joined the Blue Jays during their fourth season of existence in 1981. Along with Hall of Fame broadcast partner Tom Cheek, "Tom and Jerry" became the soundtrack of summer for baseball fans in Toronto and across Canada. Together, Howarth and Cheek chronicled the franchise's rise from expansion team to perennial playoff participant, and eventually, back-to-back World Series champion.

After Cheek's death in 2005, Howarth continued as the Blue Jays' radio voice alongside multiple broadcast partners, and was behind the microphone for the team's most recent playoff runs in 2015 and '16.

Last winter, Howarth underwent surgery to treat prostate cancer. Although his cancer treatment was successful, ongoing voice issues forced him to miss some time on the air in 2017.

In 2012, Howarth was awarded the Jack Graney Award by the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame for his longtime work with the Blue Jays. The Pennsylvania native became a Canadian citizen in 1994.

There's no immediate word on who will replace Howarth on the Blue Jays' radio broadcasts.

Copyright © 2018 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.