Gary Thorne

Last updated
Gary Thorne
Gary Thorne 2015.jpg
Thorne in 2015
Born (1948-06-09) June 9, 1948 (age 71)
Education University of Maine (BS, JD)
Georgetown University (LLM)
Occupation Sportscaster

Gary F. Thorne [1] (born June 9, 1948) is an American sports executive. He is the lead play-by-play announcer for Baltimore Orioles games on MASN. He has also worked for ESPN and ABC, including National Hockey League, Major League Baseball, college football, and the Frozen Four hockey tournament. He also works for World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), where he is the narrator for the WrestleMania Rewind program on its WWE Network streaming video service.

Contents

Biography

Background

After graduating from the University of Maine in 1970, University of Maine School of Law in 1973, and Georgetown Law School in 1976 [2] (while paying tuition as a sportscaster/disc jockey), Thorne became Penobscot County assistant district attorney and joined the bar of the U.S. Supreme Court. Thorne eventually found courtrooms dull compared to broadcasting.

Thorne's son-in-law, Damian DiGiulian, is a former assistant coach for the University of Vermont hockey team; Maine (Thorne's alma mater) and Vermont are rivals in the Hockey East conference of Division I hockey. DiGiulian is now a color commentator for ESPNU's college hockey broadcasts.[ citation needed ]

Broadcasting career

Baseball

In 1985, Thorne began a four-year stint as a radio announcer for the New York Mets. Thorne was present in the booth at Shea Stadium, along with Bob Murphy, for the now-famous sixth game of the 1986 World Series between the Mets and Boston Red Sox. Thorne was one of the first to criticize the Red Sox for leaving ill-fated Red Sox first baseman Bill Buckner in the 10th inning of the game over Dave Stapleton.

He has been the play-by-play TV announcer for the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network's Baltimore Orioles games since 2007. He is known for his signature calls of "Goodbye! Home run!" and "Mercy!" He prefers to use "two-RBI home run" and "three-RBI home run" rather than the more standard "two-run home run" and "three-run homer" phrases, despite the fact that the Orioles are famous for Earl Weaver's praise of "pitching, defense and three-run homers" as a recipe for success. Thorne closes his Orioles broadcasts with "Adieu" if the Orioles lose or "Adieu-Adieu" if they win. [3]

National work

In 1989, Thorne was named a backup play-by-play announcer (behind Al Michaels and replacing Gary Bender in this particular capacity) for ABC's coverage of Thursday Night Baseball telecasts with Joe Morgan. Thorne also served as a field reporter for the World Series and covered the World Series Trophy presentation for ABC. Like his ABC Sports colleagues, Al Michaels, Jim Palmer, Tim McCarver, and Joe Morgan, Thorne was at San Francisco's Candlestick Park when the infamous Loma Prieta earthquake [4] hit on October 17, 1989.

In 1995, Thorne called the first two games of the American League Division Series between the New York Yankees and Seattle Mariners on NBC/The Baseball Network with Tommy Hutton. [5]

From 1996 until 2003, Gary Thorne served as the play-by-play man for the World Series on Armed Forces Radio/Major League Baseball International-TV. [6]

In 2008, Thorne was named the lead play-by-play announcer for ESPN Radio's Sunday Night Baseball coverage. He teamed with color commentator Dave Campbell to call a majority of the network's Sunday Night games, although occasionally other commitments would cause him to miss a broadcast, with other ESPN announcers (such as Dan Shulman, who preceded Thorne as the primary Sunday night voice) filling in for him that week. Thorne has also worked on one of ESPN Radio's postseason Division Series crews each year, and (as previously mentioned) called the 2008 All-Star Game for non-U.S. viewers via MLB International television.

Thorne officially replaced Dave O'Brien on the MLB International broadcasts of the All-Star Game, ALCS (even-numbered years), NLCS (odd-numbered years), and the World Series from 2010-2014 alongside Rick Sutcliffe. Thorne and Sutcliffe were replaced in 2015 by the #2 Fox broadcast team of Matt Vasgersian and John Smoltz.

Thorne's voice is heard in Pepsi commercials featuring New York Yankees' Johnny Damon, the Minnesota Twins' Joe Mauer and MLB umpire Laz Díaz. In addition, he announces various games of the College World Series every year during the month of June. He also is a play-by-play TV announcer for the Little League World Series on ESPN during the month of August. Thorne is also the play-by-play announcer of the video game Major League Baseball 2K9 , Major League Baseball 2K10 , Major League Baseball 2K11 [7] , Major League Baseball 2K12 , and Major League Baseball 2K13 . [8]

From 2011 until 2016, Thorne served as master of ceremonies for the National Baseball Hall of Fame's induction ceremonies.

Hockey

In 1977, Thorne called hockey games for Augusta, Maine radio and television stations. Thorne rose to prominence in Maine broadcasting, when he began calling play-by-play for the University of Maine's hockey games for Bangor radio station WABI. As the voice of the Black Bears, he quickly became one of the most recognizable radio voices in the state.

Thorne was asked to call Maine hockey games during winter months until 1987 (simultaneously with his work for the Mets in the summer from 1985) when the lure of doing play-by-play in the NHL became too strong for Thorne to ignore. From 1987 1993, Thorne served as the play-by-play voice of the New Jersey Devils of the NHL (before being replaced by Mike Emrick) on SportsChannel New York. Thorne missed several Mets games in the 1988 season due to Devils playoff games. He was replaced after that Mets season by Gary Cohen. Thorne spent the following season with the Chicago White Sox.[ citation needed ] Thorne is most notable for announcing on the NHL on ESPN . Thorne called the Stanley Cup Finals for ESPN from 1993 2004

In March of 2014, Thorne called several high school games in the Class AA Minnesota State High School League boys hockey tournament for local independent TV station KSTC-TV. When interviewed by The New York Times, Thorne expressed his enjoyment for being asked to announce. "It’s a great event, and I thought it would be great fun. I think that’s the word I used most often in the last three days, fun, because that’s how I think of this. It’s a wonderful event. It’s great to see the kids play. It’s great hockey. The talent level is extremely high. It’s an event with a capital E. And it’s great to be a part of it." [9]

During the 2016-17 NHL season, Thorne called 8 NHL away games for the Los Angeles Kings, filling in for Bob Miller, who abstained from all of the Kings' longer travels east after missing the latter part of the 2015-16 season due to health issues. (In addition to Thorne, Ralph Strangis was also used as a substitute, and Chris Cuthbert and Jiggs McDonald are scheduled to substitute later in the season.)

National work

From 1992 to 2004, he called NHL play-by-play [10] for games on ESPN, ESPN2, and (beginning 1993 and again in 1999) ABC, including many of the latter-round playoff games. He was always paired with color commentator Bill Clement during these ESPN-produced telecasts. NBC enlisted Thorne to call the hockey tournament with John Davidson during the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. He is the announcer on EA Sports' NHL 07 (Xbox 360 only), NHL 08 , NHL 09 , NHL 10 , NHL 11 , NHL 12 , NHL 13 and NHL 14 video games, as well as ESPN Videogames' ESPN NHL 2K5 alongside Bill Clement. From 2003 to 2004, John Davidson joined Thorne and Clement as a third man in the booth for big games.

In 2005 when ESPN dropped out of the bidding for NHL hockey games, He began doing play-by-play for baseball and college football on ESPN. He also picked up duties as the lead play-by-play announcer for the Frozen Four , again paired with color commentator Bill Clement.

Thorne and Clement called every Stanley Cup win from 1993 through 2004, except for 1995; Mike Emrick and John Davidson were the broadcast team for the clinching game of that Finals series (which was aired on Fox). Thorne, Clement, and John Davidson called both Stanley Cup wins from 2003 through 2004. He called the end of two long-running Stanley Cup droughts, in 1994 for the New York Rangers and 1997 for the Detroit Red Wings.

He was named to call the play-by-play of Team USA's games in the 2010 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships for the NHL Network alongside Dave Starman. However, shortly before the tournament started, he was replaced by JP Dellacamera for personal reasons. He returned to the NHL Network in 2011 to call Team USA's games in the 2011 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships.[ citation needed ]

Football

Thorne has also called ABC's coverage of the Capital One Bowl for 2004 and 2005.

In 2011, Thorne joined CBS Sports Network as a play-by-play man for college football and has been paired with Randy Cross as color analyst. [11]

PBA Bowling

ESPN replaced Rob Stone the remaining (unrecorded) events for the 2011–12 season by Thorne. [12]

WWE

On February 25, 2014, the WWE Network debuted WrestleMania Rewind , a behind-the-scenes look at one of the matches that took place at the WWE's annual WrestleMania event. While Pat Summerall provided narration for the first episode, Thorne provides the narration for every episode beginning with episode #2 due to Summerall's passing.[ citation needed ]

Controversies

Bobby Valentine

In September 2002, Thorne reportedly talked of dissension in the Mets clubhouse between manager Bobby Valentine and the team's players. "There are a lot of guys down there (in the dugout) who don't like him," a New York Daily News columnist quotes Thorne as having said. "They don't like playing for him. And if there has ever been a Teflon manager, he's it. Nothing seems to stick. He's never responsible for anything." [13] Valentine and the Mets parted ways after the 2002 season.

Curt Schilling

In April 2007, in reference to Curt Schilling's famed bloody sock during the 2004 MLB playoffs, Thorne said during a broadcast of a Red Sox Orioles game that Boston backup catcher Doug Mirabelli admitted it was a hoax. "It was painted," Thorne said. "Doug Mirabelli confessed up to it after. It was all for PR." Thorne later said that Mirabelli had only been joking. "He said one thing, and I heard something else. I reported what I heard and what I honestly felt was said," Thorne said. "Having talked with him today, there's no doubt in my mind that's not what he said, that's not what he meant. He explained that it was in the context of the sarcasm and the jabbing that goes on in the clubhouse. "I took it as something serious, and it wasn't," Thorne said. Mirabelli confirmed the story, saying, "He knows that I believe 100 percent that I thought the sock had blood on it. It never crossed my mind that there wasn't blood on that sock. If he misinterpreted something said inside the clubhouse, it's unfortunate." Mirabelli said he spoke with Thorne in the Boston clubhouse about six months after the 2004 playoffs. "As he was walking away he asked, 'How about the bloody sock?' I said, 'Yeah, we got a lot of publicity out of that,' and that was all he can recall me saying," Mirabelli said. "He said he assumed what I meant was that the sock was fake and that it was just a publicity stunt. That by no means is what I meant. There was never a doubt in mind there was blood on the sock." [14]

Career timeline

At ESPN/ABC

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References

  1. https://www.martindale.com/portland/maine/gary-f-thorne-614313-a/
  2. Kelleter, Bob. "UMaine Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2017: Gary Thorne". Go Black Bears. Retrieved August 3, 2018.
  3. "Voices: Gary Thorne (LL.M.'76)". Law.Georgetown.edu. Georgetown University. Archived from the original on June 12, 2019. Retrieved August 14, 2018.
  4. Encina, Eduardo A. (October 24, 2014). "Orioles broadcaster Gary Thorne says memories of 1989 World Series earthquake still vivid". The Baltimore Sun.
  5. Vaccaro, Mike. "1995 Yankees-Mariners: The Series That I Can't Forget". NYPost.com. NYP Holdings, Inc. Retrieved August 3, 2018.
  6. Major League Baseball International TV Coverage
  7. Ingrassia, Nunzio. "Visual Concept's MLB 2K 11". CBSNews.com. CBS. Retrieved August 15, 2018.
  8. "Major League Baseball 2K13". IMDB. Retrieved August 14, 2018.
  9. "Gary Thorne in Full Voice for High School Event". The New York Times. Retrieved April 14, 2020.
  10. "Gary Thorne ESPN MediaZone". ESPN Media Zone. Retrieved August 2, 2018.
  11. "CBS Sports Network Kicks Off Ninth College Football Season". CBSSports.com. CBS Interactive. Retrieved August 14, 2018.
  12. Schneider, Jerry. "Veteran Sportscaster Gary Thorne to be PBA Tour Play-by-Play Announcer for Remaining Majors in 2011–12 Season." Article at www.pba.com on January 10, 2012.
  13. Raissman, Bob (2007-04-27). "Gary lands in another Thorne-y situation". NY Daily News. Retrieved 2007-06-11.
  14. Thorne says he misunderstood conversation. http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2849747
  15. 1 2 3 4 5 6 MASN Online Archived 2007-10-25 at the Wayback Machine
  16. Leahy, Sean. "NHL 15 coming to next-gen consoles; cover vote announced". Yahoo Sports.
Preceded by
Jim Hunter or Fred Manfra
Baltimore Orioles Television Play-By-Play Announcer
2007–present
Succeeded by
Incumbent
Preceded by
Jiggs McDonald
Stanley Cup Finals American network television play-by-play announcer
19932004 (with Mike Emrick on Fox from 1995 to 1999)
Succeeded by
Mike Emrick
Preceded by
Gary Bender
#2 play-by-play announcer, Major League Baseball on ABC
1989
Succeeded by
Brent Musburger (in 1994)