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.
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. 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.
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 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.
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.
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 Seriesfrom 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.
Since 2011, Thorne has served as master of ceremonies for the National Baseball Hall of Fame's induction ceremonies.
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 always paired along with analyst Bill Clement during these ESPN-produced telecasts. NBC enlisted Thorne to call the hockey tournament with John Davidson 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 Video games' 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.
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.
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.