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Touch 'em All Joe August 07, 2015 12:22

The late, great Tom Cheek - the inaugural radio play-by-play maestro for the Toronto Blue Jays - made one of the most famous calls in World Series history. In his unassuming manner - after allowing ThemomenT to sink in - Cheek instructed Joe Carter to "Touch 'em all, Joe! You'll never hit a bigger home run in your life!"

Tom was right. Joe never did hit a bigger home run in his life. How could he? He had just ended the 1993 World Series with a home run. The first player to win a World Series with a dinger since Bill Mazeroski did so for the Pirates to end the 1960 season.

I was there that night. Tickets presented to me for my 17th birthday. Game 6 of the '93 Series! My best bud at the time took me to SkyDome for a World Series game. And, oh boy! What a game we witnessed.

(He also turned to me after the end of the 5th inning when the Jays were up 5-1 and before the Phillies - led by Lenny Dykstra - put up 5 in the top half of the 7th to take a 6-5 lead - and said "Joe Carter will hit a home run to win it.").

Touch 'em all, Joe! It felt like that down and away slider hooked by Joe down the left field line - landing barely fair inside the foul pole - was in the air for eternity. There was a collective silence after the Louisville Slugger crack. Who could believe it? Suspended serenity before pandemonium. Ricky walked, Devo flew out to center, Molitor singled sharply to center, and, now....this?!? 

It was ThemomenT for Toronto sports. Sure, the Braves were defeated a year earlier (in Atlanta) for the first World Series pennant north of the American border. But, this was a game-winning home run by Joe Carter. The man brought to the franchise in one of the biggest trades in MLB history. Fred McGriff and Tony Fernandez shipped to San Diego for Roberto Alomar and Touch 'em all, Joe. National stage. Mitch Williams (the "Wild Thing") throwing his nasty stuff. Back-to-back titles. 

When that ball finally landed over the fence and Carter did his version of a romantic dance around the bases, ThemomenT ended. It was a moment filled with the smell of Molson; powered by the passion of a nation; and remembered as ThemomenT Joseph Christopher Carter touched 'em all to give the Toronto Blue Jays a World Series victory.

Joe Carter