Gary Thorne: Wikis

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Gary Thorne

Gary Thorne with Jim Palmer
during an Orioles game.
Born June 9, 1948 (1948-06-09) (age 61)
Bangor, Maine, USA
Occupation Sportscaster

Gary Thorne (born June 9, 1948, in Bangor, Maine) is a play-by-play announcer for ESPN and ABC, working Major League Baseball, College football and Frozen Four hockey contests. He is also the television play-by-play voice of the Baltimore Orioles.

Contents

Biography

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Background

After graduating from the University of Maine in 1970, University of Maine School of Law in 1973, and Georgetown Law School in 1976 (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. But eventually, Thorne found courtrooms dull when 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.

Broadcasting career

Baseball

By 1984, Thorne had enough leverage with baseball's Triple-A Maine Guides to name himself a co-owner.

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 people to criticize the Red Sox for leaving ill-fated Red Sox first baseman Bill Buckner out in the 10th inning over Dave Stapleton.

He continued 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 19871993, Thorne served as the play-by-play voice of the New Jersey Devils of the NHL. 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.

In 1989, Thorne was named a back up play-by-play announcer (behind Al Michaels) 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 hit on October 17, 1989.

From 1997 until 2003, Gary Thorne served as the play-by-play man for the World Series on Armed Forces Radio/Major League Baseball International-TV.[1][2]

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!"

In 2008, Thorne was named the lead play-by-play announcer for ESPN Radio's Sunday Night Baseball coverage. He teams with color commentator Dave Campbell to call a majority of the network's Sunday Night games, although occasionally other commitments will 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 also works on one of ESPN Radio's postseason Division Series crews each year, and called the 2008 All-Star Game for non-U.S. viewers via MLB International television.

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.

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 Hockey Black Bears, he quickly became one of the most recognizable radio voices in the state.

From 1992 through 2004, Thorne called NHL play-by-play for games on ESPN, ESPN2 and (beginning 1999) ABC, including many of the latter-round playoff games. He was almost always paired along with analyst 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 the NHL 09 and NHL 10 video games alongside Bill Clement.

In 2005 when ESPN dropped out of the bidding for NHL hockey games, Gary Thorne 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.

Thorne and Clement called every Stanley Cup win from 1993 through 2004, except for 1995.

Thorne 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 he was replaced by JP Dellacamera for personal reasons.

Football

He has also called ABC's coverage of the Capital One Bowl.

Controversy

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."[3]

National Basketball Association

In 2004, Thorne wrote an article for the Bangor Daily News in which he described the National Basketball Association as "quickly becoming the nation's most expensive gang, if not the most dangerous."[4]

The article attracted derision from some corners, with some people, a majority of whom were African American, viewing the comments as 'code' and/or racist. The comments did not attract a firestorm outside of online discussion boards and were never picked up by the national media. Thorne has not spoken about them publicly.

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 SoxOrioles 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."[5]

Memorable calls

Hockey

On April 3, 1988, Thorne called one of the most memorable games in New Jersey Devils history, as John MacLean scored in overtime against the Chicago Blackhawks to send the Devils to the Stanley Cup playoffs for the first time in history:

Sundstrom, back to the point...Joe Cirella...Cirella got in, Cirella takes a shot, save by Pang, rebound...SCORES!!! THEY DID IT!!! THEY DID IT!!! The Devils make the playoffs for the first time in their history! John MacLean the overtime goal! And they win it 4-3!

On March 23, 1994, Thorne delivered the play-by-play for a game between the Vancouver Canucks and the Los Angeles Kings in which Wayne Gretzky scored his 802nd career goal to become the NHL's all-time leading goal-scorer:

McSorley, to Gretzky... SCORES!!! HE DID IT! HE DID IT! The greatest goal scorer in National Hockey League history is Wayne Gretzky!

One of the greatest games he covered was Game 6 of the 1994 NHL Eastern Conference Finals between the New York Rangers and the New Jersey Devils, a game in which Mark Messier guaranteed a Rangers win. He called the game on ESPN.

Leetch drops it, Kovalev again, save Brodeur – rebound, scores!!! Mark Messier gets his second goal, the Rangers lead 3-2.
John MacLean center, for the open net, Mark Messier...DO YOU BELIEVE IT?! DO YOU BELIEVE IT?! He said we will win Game 6, he has just picked up a hat trick!!!

A few weeks later, Thorne called Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals. At the final horn, he was able to tell most of the country that the Rangers had ended a 54-year Stanley Cup drought.

1.6 seconds away from the Cup, Pavel Bure. It's over!!! THE RANGERS WIN THE CUP!!! THE RANGERS WIN THE CUP!!! THE CURSE IS OVER!!! They've done it!

Another memorable NHL game Thorne called was Game 7 of the 1996 Western Conference Semifinals between the Detroit Red Wings and the St. Louis Blues. This game was won in double overtime, on a blue line slapshot by Steve Yzerman.

Gretzky had it, lost it. Yzerman picks it up. Yzerman moving, blue line chance – SCOOOOORES!!!!!! Steve Yzerman!!! Detroit wins!!!

Thorne called Mario Lemieux's last home game before his first retirement on April 26, 1997, a playoff game against the Philadelphia Flyers. Lemieux scored with a minute to go in his final home game.

Back to the point. Desjardins... Mario blocked it, Lemieux heading up ice...here he comes...here he comes...MARIO LEMIEUX...HANG ON!! HE SCORES!!! YOU GOTTA LOVE IT!!!

Thorne called game 4 of the 1997 Stanley Cup Finals between The Detroit Red Wings and The Philadelphia Flyers, and made a memorable call on Darren McCarty's game winning goal.

Darren McCarty comes back with Niinimaa in front of him. McCarty draws, McCarty in, McCarty, SCOOOOORES!!! A MAGNIFICENT GOAL!!!!!

Thorne called game 6 of the 1998 Western Conference Finals between The Detroit Red Wings and The Dallas Stars, and made a memorable comment late in the third period.

Now comes the worst part of the game for Chris Osgood. Two minutes and three seconds of pure hell. Because now Dallas with nothing to lose, will do anything.. ANYTHING and everything to put a puck by him.

Thorne also called Game 6 of the 1999 Stanley Cup Finals (June 19, 1999) between the Dallas Stars and the Buffalo Sabres, when Brett Hull scored the cup-clinching controversial goal for the Stars in overtime.

Loose puck. Hull...shot...SCORE! SCORE! SCORE! The Dallas Stars...they've won the Stanley Cup!!! Deep in the heart of Texas, the Stars are shining!

The following year, when he called Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals, it was Thorne who called the game and cup-clinching Stanley Cup goal by Jason Arnott, for the New Jersey Devils, a team whose games he once called.

Center, shot, SCORES!!! THE NEW JERSEY DEVILS HAVE WON THE STANLEY CUP!!! Jason Arnott with the game-winning overtime goal!

Moments later, his color commentator, Bill Clement, laughed and said, "Finally, the ending of the movie!"[6]

After Joe Sakic of the Colorado Avalanche accepted the Stanley Cup (after his team defeated the New Jersey Devils in Game 7 of the 2001 Stanley Cup Finals) and gave it immediately to veteran Ray Bourque, who spent 22 years with Boston and Colorado waiting for his chance to win the cup.

...and after twenty-two years, RAYMOND BOURQUE!

During the first round of the 2003 Stanley Cup playoffs, Thorne got to call one of the biggest upsets in Stanley Cup Playoff history, as the #7 seeded Mighty Ducks of Anaheim stunned the #2 seeded Detroit Red Wings, the previous year's Stanley Cup champion in a clean sweep, thanks to Steve Rucchin's legendary series-clinching overtime goal in Game 4. Thorne's call went like this:

Here's Rucchin, Steve Rucchin. A little run, Rucchin's shot! Save made, Joseph! Rebound not centered! In front, Rucchin... SCORES!!! SCORES!!! SCORES!!! THEEEEEEEEEE MIGHTY DUCKS HAVE KNOCKED OFF THE DEFENDING STANLEY CUP CHAMPIONS! THREE TO TWO IN OVERTIME!

Later that playoff year, in the Stanley Cup Finals, Mighty Ducks of Anaheim forward Paul Kariya took a massive hit from New Jersey Devils defenseman Scott Stevens. Kariya lay motionless on the ice for several minutes but returned to the game later and scored a goal, which Thorne made the call:

Near side Kariya, Kariya, the fans want one. SCORE!!! OFF THE FLOOR, ON THE BOARD, PAUL KARIYA!!!

During the 2004 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Thorne called game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Philadelphia Flyers. Tampa Bay took a 3-2 series lead into game 6 as Philadelphia was facing elimination. Tampa Bay was ahead by one goal with a few minutes remaining in the third period when Flyers captain Keith Primeau tied the game with 1:49 remaining.

Primeau got it away to Timander, his shot -- save, rebound...SCOOORE!!! PRIMEAU!!!! HAS TIED THE GAME!!!!!!

Late in the first overtime of the same game, a shot from Jeremy Roenick hit a skate in front and bounced to Simon Gagne who shot the puck past goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin to win the game for the Flyers and force a seventh and deciding game to be played in Tampa Bay.

Gagne for Roenick, lets it go, Primeau. Primeau draws it, side of the net, Roenick shot...AND SCOOORE!!!!! SIMON GAGNE!!!!!! WE'VE GOT A GAME SEVEN!!!!

During the 2009 NCAA championship hockey game between Boston University and Miami of Ohio, Thorne made the call after the BU Terriers completed one of the greatest comebacks in college hockey history, scoring goals with 59 seconds left and 17 seconds left to tie the score at 3.

20 seconds, in the middle, pass, SCOOOORE!!! UNBELIEVABLE!!! BOSTON UNIVERSITY HAS SCORED TWO GOALS IN THE LAST MINUTE AND HAS TIED THIS GAME, AT 3!!!

In overtime, Thorne made the call after Boston University's Colby Cohen scored the winning goal.

At the point, they'll go back and forth with it. Windup, shot, deflected, SCOOORE!!! COHEN'S SHOT GOES IN, AND BOSTON UNIVERSITY IS YOUR DIVISION ONE CHAMPION, 4-3!!!

Baseball

Thorne called Game 6 of the 1986 World Series with Bob Murphy on Mets Radio and both called the error that led to the Mets winning that game:

(Murphy)...and a ground ball, trickling, its a fair ball..gets by Buckner!! Rounding third, Knight! The Mets will win the ball game! The Mets win! They win!
(Thorne)Unbelievable, the Red Sox in stunned disbelief!

One of the most memorable calls in baseball history came when Thorne called Game 2 of the 1995 American League Division Series between the New York Yankees and the Seattle Mariners. The game was especially important because it was the first playoff series held in historic Yankee Stadium since 1981 and was also the first playoff series for beloved Yankee captain Don Mattingly. Mattingly stepped to plate during in a tie game and Thorne made the call:

(before the pitch) The fans want a dinger out of him...This one by Mattingly, OH HANG ON TO THE ROOF...GOODBYE, HOME RUN! DON MATTINGLY!!!

(Note: It would be the only postseason home run of Mattingly's career and the last home game he would ever play in)

Thorne also called Barry Bonds' record-breaking 71st home run of 2001, one more of Mark McGwire's 70 in 1998. Here was the call:

Bonds hits it! Deep to right field! Way back! Is this the one?! THERE'S A NEW RECORD HOMER!!! The single season mark is 71! Barry Bonds has the title!

The following three calls are from the 2001 World Series, between the Arizona Diamondbacks and the New York Yankees:

Fly ball, center field. It is way back, at the wall...GOODBYE, HOME RUN!!! TINO MARTINEZ!!!--After Martinez's two run home run with two out in the bottom of the ninth of Game 4 of the 2001 World Series.
That one hit in the air to left field. DO YOU BELIEVE IT?!! GOODBYE, HOME RUN!!! THEY HAVE DONE IT AGAIN!!! THIS GAME IS TIED!!!"--Thorne's call after Yankee Scott Brosius did the exact same thing the following night (Game 5).
That one hit in the air to center field, IT'S OVER! THE DIAMONDBACKS, ON A GONZALEZ SINGLE, ARE THE WORLD CHAMPIONS!--Thorne's call after the Diamondbacks' Luis Gonzalez hit a game winning-single to clinch the first World Series victory in Diamondbacks history (Game 7)

Other memorable calls

In his most recognizable football broadcast to date, Thorne called the final moments of the 2005 Capital One Bowl, won by Iowa over Louisiana State University on a 66 yard touchdown pass on the final play.

Tate...wants to go deep for the touchdown, a man open at the 20, it is caught! 10! 5! TOUCHDOWN! HOLLOWAY! OH MY! And they're on the field, the clock...has expired!

Gary Thorne worked the International Semifinals in the 2007 Little League World Series. In the game between Curaçao and Venezuela, Deion Rosalia of the Curaçao team hit a walk-off 3-run home run in the bottom of the seventh to give Curaçao the upset win over Venezuela. The dramatic call made by Gary Thorne went like this. (note: the standard length of a Little League World Series game is 6 innings)

Rosalia takes that one to right field. That is way back. AND IT'S GONE! A GAME-WINNING HOME RUN! CURACAO WINS IT! EXTRA INNINGS! BOTTOM OF THE 7TH!

Gary Thorne called the thrilling game between Japan and Curaçao in the 2009 Little League World Series that ended with a Curaçao walk-off. This was the call:

1-1. Bunted. Runner's not coming....not coming...NOW COMING! HERE'S THE THROW! HE IS SAFE! CURACAO WINS! 12-11!

Kansas State vs. Texas 2006 ESPN

Freeman... Looking deeep....TOUCHDOWN!!!! FIGURES AGAIN!!! AND THIS WILDCAT CROWD, THEY ARE EXPLODING!!!!...

Career timeline

References

External links

  1. Gary Thorne Disses the NBA
  2. ABC Sports - Gary Thorne
  3. Gary Thorne's ESPN Bio

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