Jul 18, 2021

The Return of Mets Broadcaster: Gary Thorne (1985-1988) (1994-2002) (2021)

Gary Thorne
was born on June 9, 1948 in Bangor, Maine. He attended the University of Maine, graduating in 1970. 
Thorne then attended the University of Maine School of Law, graduating in 1973 & lastly the Georgetown Law School, graduating in 1976.

Thorne helped pay his tuition by working as a disc jockey & broadcaster. 

Thorne began his law career, working for the Bangor Maine, district Attorney’s office. He was also a member of the bar of the U.S. Supreme Court. 

Thorne became unhappy in his work & felt bored in the courtrooms. He decided he wanted to get back to what he loved best, which was broadcasting sports. The young man made a complete career change & became very successful at it.

Sports Casting Career: In the late 1970's, Thorne began calling play-by-play for the Augusta, Maine hockey team. He followed up with broadcasts of the University of Maine's hockey games. He soon became a popular figure in Bangor Maine. 

Mets Broadcasting Career: In 1985, the 36 year old, landed a job with the New York Mets, working alongside the legendary Mets Announcer, Bob Murphy on radio broadcasts.

The two men worked well together & did some of the best baseball radio broadcasting, New York had ever heard. 

Friendship With Murph: Gary Thorne became very close friends with Bob Murphy. The two kept in touch off the field as well. In 2003, at Bob Murphy's funeral service at New York's St. Patrick's Cathedral, Gary Thorne delivered the eulogy.

During the 1986 Mets Championship season, the two voices brought all the thrills to the fans, over the radio. Thorne & Murphy also covered the Mets radio broadcast of the 1986 NLCS & the World Series. 

Thorne was alongside Bob Murphy, as he made the famous call in Game #3 on the NLCS when Lenny Dykstra " the man they call nails" hit his walk off HR. Then again, in Game Six of the World Series, when Mookie Wilson's ground ball "gets by by Bill Buckner" at first. 

Thorne was one of the first people to criticize Red Sox manager, John McNamara, for leaving Buckner on the field in extra innings, in with his bad knees,, while having Dave Stapleton available. Thorne also made the call of Ray Knight's Game Seven HR, that all but sealed the Worlds Championship.

Thorne's signature calls are: "Goodbye! Home run!" and "Mercy!"

New Jersey Devils: Thorne continued to do Maine hockey during the winter months. He was so good at calling hockey, the NHL took notice & went after him. In 1987, he landed a job with the New Jersey Devils hockey team & would be their main broadcaster through the 1993-1994 season. 

In 1988 he missed action on Mets games, when the New Jersey Hockey Devils got into the hockey playoffs. He was replaced by the eventual future play by play voice of the Mets, Gary Cohen. 

 From 1996- 2003 Thorne did MLB radio broadcast &the World Series, on Armed Forces Radio with Ken Singleton. Thorne also made the call in the 1999 NLCS, when the Mets, Robin Ventura hit his famous Grand Slam Single, forcing a Game Six with Atlanta.

Return to the Mets: In 1994, Gary Thorne was back with the Mets full time, doing television broadcast on WOR TV Channel 9. He remained there for nine more seasons, working with the likes of  Tom Seaver, Tim McCarver, Keith Hernandez, Fran Healy & Mets long time announcer, Ralph Kiner. Thorne would mostly work on the local, non cable broadcast, especially Sunday afternoon games on WWOR or WPIX.

Bobby Valentine Drama: In September 2002, Thorne reportedly talked of dissension in the Mets clubhouse between manager Bobby Valentine and the team's players. 

Quoted by the Daily News- Gary Thorne: "There are a lot of guys down there (in the dugout) who don't like him," 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." 

The situation never attracted national media attention but was a big deal in Mets land. 
After the season Valentine & Thorne parted ways with the Mets.

Post Mets Career: He did one season with the Chicago White Sox before moving back to  NHL Hockey full time.

In 1989 he was named as a backup announcer to Al Michael’s on ABC’s Thursday Night Baseball working alongside Joe Morgan. He also served as a field reporter for the World Series & covered the World Series Trophy presentation for ABC.

On October 18th, 1989 Thorne was at San Francisco's Candlestick Park when the infamous World Series earthquake hit during the telecast.

From 1997 until 2003, Gary Thorne served as the play-by-play man for the World Series on Armed Forces Radio. In 2005 he began doing play-by-play for ESPN baseball games as well as the Little League World Series & college football.

Curt Shilling Drama: During a 2007 broadcast Thorne claimed Red Sox catcher Doug Mirabelli admitted that the “bloody sock” Curt Schilling wore during the 2004 World Series was a hoax. Soon after a media explosion, he admitted he misunderstood Mirabelli. 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. 

He would call MLB games with Dave Campbell for ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball in 2008. 

Baltimore Orioles Broadcaster: In 2007, he began doing the play-by-play for the Baltimore O

Thorne then became popular with a new set of fans, in Baltimore. He would close the broadcast with "aidieu adieu" if the  O's won the game. 

He remained with the Orioles for 13 seasons, until he began to have a contract dispute with the MASN network.  In the Covin 19, 2020 season, the team removed him from the booth & in January of 2021 he was let go by the MASN network completely.

In working various forms of coverage, Thorne has worked numerous postseasons series for MLB, including many World Series & 14 All Star Games as well. 

Cooperstown:
He was the Baseball Hall of Fame master of
ceremonies, handling the Hall of Fame inductions, from 2011 to 2016.

NHL Hockey: While still working for the Devils in 1992, he began doing ESPN -NHL Hockey games, with analyst Bill Clemment. He would also work with analyst, John Davidson at times. Thorne called every Stanley Cup Final from 1993 - 2004 (with the exception of 1995). 

His voice became one of the most recognizable voices to hockey fans in the United States. 

In the 2016 - 2017 season he filled in to work eight L.A. Kings hockey games.

Other Work: NBC also enlisted Thorne to call the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. He has worked Junior Hockey, High School Hockey, the Frozen Four as well as covering for Team USA & games for the L.A. Kings in 2016-2017.

 
In addition to his on-air work, Thorne is president of the Baseball Assistance Team (BAT), which provides assistance to members of baseball's family who are in need. He also serves hosts MLBPA annual Dinner Events.


Honors: Gary Thorne has won four Emmy Awards for his television work.

Thorne teaches a broadcasting class at Arizona State University.

Return To The Mets Once Again: In July of 2021 he filled in for a vacationing Gary Cohen on the
Mets SNY, network. Thorne worked play by play alongside Keith Hernandez, in the first games following the All Star break. It was great to see & hear Thorne back with the Mets, a true legend.

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