I’ve had the privilege of hearing Jerry Howarth call Blue Jays baseball games on the radio for decades. As he’s grown older (and wiser), something has struck me with who he’s becoming for the Jays: the informal father figure. While he’s not on the Jays staff as a coach, he does command respect from many of the players. He’s honest with his assessments and yet gentle. He demonstrates a desire for those around him to strive for their best, and he cheers for them to be at their best. Like a father, he challenges when he needs to, and demonstrates his care for the individual.

Earlier today, on the Jeff Blair show, Jerry shared a moment he had with Jose Bautista (listen here). Jerry was addressing Jose’s clubhouse presence and on-field antics (like arguing with the umpires) last season. Howarth shared how he had a moment with Bautista, told him his actions were hurting the team, and left it at that. I don’t know how Bautista reacted nor his opinion of that situation. But since Jose’s started to be a better example, Howarth was the first to stand up and support Jose’s change in attitude.

If you see a picture of Howarth, he’s not really a physically intimidating man. What I sense is someone who demonstrates his genuine kindness to others, showing the dignity he believes they deserve. Not for his own sake, but because of his exemplary career as a broadcaster and a man of baseball, others give him the respect he’s earned. When he speaks, others listen. Yet he seems to be a man of humility, not drawing attention to himself but deflecting it back to the players and others he supports.

Jerry Howarth is an example of how to carry yourself with humility, dignifying those around him and earning their respect.