Jan 16, 2015

Former Mets Broadcaster: Gary Thorne (1985-1988 / 1994-2002)

Gary Thorne was born on June 9, 1948 in Bangor, Maine. He attended the University of Maine School of Law, graduating in 1970. 

He then attended the Maine School of Law as well as the Georgetown Law School, paying his tuition by working as a disc jockey & broadcaster. 

He worked for the Bangor Maine, district Attorney’s office & was a member of the bar of the U.S. Supreme Court. He eventually got bored with law & court rooms. He found he had still had talent in the broadcasting field, deciding that's what he loved to do.Thorne would soon switch two totally different careers around.

He began calling play-by-play for the Augusta Maine hockey team in the late seventies & then the University of Maine's hockey games. There is work was recognized & he became a popular figure in Bangor Maine. 

In 1985 he landed a job with the New York Mets as a radio broadcaster working alongside the legendary Bob Murphy.

The two worked well together & did some of the best baseball radio New York had ever known before & after the two paired up. Murphy & Thorne also developed a special friendship that would last for the remainder of Bob Murphy’s life. In 2003 it was Thorne who would deliver Murphy’s eulogy at St. Patrick’s Cathedral at his funeral.

Thorne worked in the booth with Bob Murphy for the 1986 World Series & was alongside Murphy as he made the famous call in Game Six when Mookie Wilson's grounder got by Bill Buckner at first. Thorne was one of the first people to criticize John McNamara & the Red Sox for leaving first baseman Bill Buckner in with his bad knees,in the 10th inning with Dave Stapleton available.

Thorne continued to do Maine hockey during the winter months, but he was so good the NHL took notice & wanted him. In 1987 he landed a job with the New Jersey Devil hockey team & would hold that position through 1993. 

In 1988 he missed action on Mets broadcasts when the New Jersey Hockey Devils got into the hockey playoffs, he was replaced by Gary Cohen. He eventually stepped away from the Mets after thirteen seasons & moved on. He did one season with the Chicago White Sox before moving to 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 and covered the World Series Trophy presentation for ABC.

 In 1989 Thorne was at San Francisco's Candlestick Park when the infamous World Series earthquake hit on October 17, 1989.

Thorne went on to work alongside analyst Bill Clemment for the ESPN network, becoming one of NHL hockey's greatest all time broadcasters. He has called some of the most memorable games in recent Stanley Cup Playoff history, and his voice is one of the most recognizable to hockey fans in the United States. He has covered 12 NHL seasons including Stanley Cup Playoffs & Finals.

 NBC also enlisted Thorne to call the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City & to date has now covered three Olympics.

In 1994 Gary was back with the Mets doing television broadcast on WOR TV Channel 9 for the next seven years. He worked strictly on the local non cable broadcast which were mostly Sunday games & with a few others mixed in throughout the season. 

By this time he was been teamed up with the likes of Hall of Famers: Ralph Kiner, & Tom Seaver as well as Tim McCarver & Keith Hernandez over that period. 

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 quoted 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." 

The situation never attracted national media attention but was a big deal in Mets land.

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.

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.

In 2007, he began doing the play-by-play for the Baltimore Orioles games working alongside Hall of Famer Jim Palmer. He is known for his signature calls of "Goodbye! Home run!" and "Mercy!"

Thorne has recently enjoyed the sucess of the Orioles franchise & is a very popular broadcaster to those fans as well. Thorne is now getting close to marking his 30th anniversary as a play by play baseball broadcaster. He has done nine World Series & 14 All Star Games for MLB International TV. 

 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 hosts both the BAT and Major League Baseball Players Association annual dinners.

Over the past few years he has hosted the Induction ceremonies at the Baseball all of Fame in Cooperstown. He has also won four Emmy Awards for his TV work.

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