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Gary Thorne (born June 9, 1948) is the lead play-by-play announcer for 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.
June 9, 1948 |
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.
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 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.
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 hit on October 17, 1989.
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, Major League Baseball 2K12, and Major League Baseball 2K13.
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. Thorne is most notable for announcing on the NHL on ESPN.
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.)
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 EA Sports' 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.
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; Mike Emrick and John Davidson were the broadcast team for the clinching game of that Finals series (which was aired on Fox).
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 started, he was replaced by JP Dellacamera for personal reasons. Thorne returned to the NHL Network in 2011 to call Team USA's games in the 2011 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships.
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.
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." Valentine and the Mets parted ways after the 2002 season.
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."
- 1977–1986: University of Maine Hockey Play-by-Play
- 1985–1988: New York Mets Radio Play-by-Play
- 1985–1993: New Jersey Devils TV Play-by-Play
- 1988–1992: SportsChannel America's Hockey Play-by-Play
- 1989: Chicago White Sox Play-by-Play
- 1994–2002: New York Mets TV Play-by-Play
- 2007–present: Baltimore Orioles Lead Play-by-Play on MASN
- 2007–2014: EA NHL head announcer in game.
- 2011: MLB 2K11 head announcer in game.
- 2013: MLB 2K13 head announcer in the game
- 2016: Los Angeles Kings fill-in play by play announcer with Fox Sports West
- 2017: World Baseball Classic Pool D Announcer
- 1989: Major League Baseball on ABC Play-by-Play
- 1990–present: ESPN Major League Baseball Play-by-Play
- 1992–2004: ESPN National Hockey Night Lead Play-by-Play
- 1993–1994, 2000–2004: NHL on ABC Lead Play-by-Play
- 2004–2006: ESPN College Football on ABC Play-by-Play
- 2008–2009: Major League Baseball on ESPN Radio Lead Play-by-Play.
- Major League Baseball International TV Coverage
- Raissman, Bob (2007-04-27). "Gary lands in another Thorne-y situation". NY Daily News. Retrieved 2007-06-11.
- Thorne says he misunderstood conversation. http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2849747
- MASN Online Archived 2007-10-25 at the Wayback Machine.
- Leahy, Sean. "NHL 15 coming to next-gen consoles; cover vote announced". Yahoo Sports.
Jim Hunter or Fred Manfra
|Baltimore Orioles Television Play-By-Play Announcer
|Stanley Cup Finals American network television play-by-play announcer
1993–2004 (with Mike Emrick on Fox from 1995 to 1999)