The Men Upstairs

What it’s been like for commentators Gary Thorne and Jim Palmer to call games in 2012 after 14 losing seasons.

By Jess Blumberg - April 2013

How was the 2012 season different for commentators Gary Thorne and Jim Palmer?

What it’s been like for commentators Gary Thorne and Jim Palmer to call games in 2012 after 14 losing seasons.

By Jess Blumberg - April 2013

-Photography courtesy of The Baltimore Orioles (Todd Olszewski)

Through a slew of struggling seasons, the Orioles have seen a lot of turnover: traded players, a plethora of managers, and even, yes, some bandwagon fans.
But, flip on the TV and, game in and game out, you’ll hear two consistent voices: the play-by-play from Gary Thorne and color commentary from Jim Palmer.
So, what has it been like for them to call losing season after losing season and then, finally, experience that rekindled Orioles magic last year?

“If anything, those past years were a disappointment,” says Gary Thorne who came on board in 2007. “But you never try and fool anybody. You try to be honest, but positive, because there are always memorable moments no matter the losing record.”

Thorne swears he’s not a homer, but admits that any broadcaster would want the team they’re covering to win. He adds that it was especially hard on former Orioles Palmer and Mike Flanagan to watch their team flounder.

“I’ve gone through very dismal years,” Palmer says. “But we’re always prepared as broadcasters. And when you work with Gary Thorne, he can make a haircut sound exciting.”

Even still, the excitement of the 2012 season was exhilarating for both commentators.

“It was the way they won those 93 games,” Palmer says. “All those one-run games, extra-inning games, Chris Davis pitching. We started winning series, winning on Sundays, winning the rubber game. Every game was meaningful.” 

Thorne says that his production team at MASN didn’t do anything different last year per se, but there were obvious advantages.

“You smile a lot more,” he says. “And you don’t have to reach for stories. They’re right there in front of you.”





You May Also Like


The Chatter

Maryland’s Anthony Cowan Ready for NBA Life – Whenever It Happens

One of the Terps’ pro prospects talks about the strangeness of this year so far.

The Chatter

The Preakness Has a New Date–at the Same Home. But Will Any Fans Be There?

Pimlico Race Course is scheduled to host the final leg of the 2020 Triple Crown in October.

The Chatter

Boxer Yahu Blackwell Is An All-Everything Businessman

The 33-year-old Baltimore native is the owner of the new Rita’s Italian Ice in Hampden.


The Birds Nest

Checking in with Orioles Pitcher Branden Kline

Awaiting MLB's return, Kline talks being a wine nerd, his terrible golf game, and his scene-stealing daughter.

-Photography courtesy of The Baltimore Orioles (Todd Olszewski)

Connect With Us

Most Read


WTMD’s First Thursdays Go Virtual for the Rest of the Summer: The planned overhaul of the annual festival will be postponed until next year.

Baltimore Pride’s Legacy Lives On Despite Canceled Festival: Community comes together virtually to celebrate with discussions and events.

Five Things to Know About Democratic Mayoral Nominee Brandon Scott: The 36-year-old City Council President rallies past Sheila Dixon to win Democratic mayoral primary.

Amid The Economic Chaos, Downtown Partnership’s New President Has a Plan: Shelonda Stokes was just named president after serving in an interim leadership role.

Bottoms Up Bagels Rolls Into Harwood: Owners debut their new “BUB Hub” at 28th and Greenmount.