NAPLES – He has been the voice of Twins fans summers since 1987 but now it appears a new voice will be the narration of summer ball in Minnesota.
According to a report out of Florida, Twins radio play-by-play announcer John Gordon has hinted that he will retire from broadcasting after this season. “It’s time,” said the 70 year old Gordon. “I’ve had a wonderful career, but it’s time for me to move on to another phase of my life.” Gordon spoke to a Men’s Fellowship at Community Congressional Church on Tuesday morning in North Naples. The Twins are gearing up for spring training that kicks off soon.
“I got to get to know the players and know the territory,” Gordon said. “So it’s a workout (spring training) for us, just like it is for the players.”
Even if this report is exaggerated, it’s not unbelievable. It was announced late last year that Gordon’s schedule of games has been reduced from 150 to 90. Also his two year contract he signed after the 2008 season is up and Gordo has yet to sign a new one.
Gordon is best known for his home run calls of “Touch ‘em All!” which has become engrained in the minds and conscience of Twins fans and has even left a dent in pop culture. His call of Kirby Puckett’s game winning home run in Game 6 of the 1991 World Series is cemented in baseball history and lore, and is one of the most recognizable calls ever. “That was the only time I ever said ‘Touch ‘em all’ twice when a Twins player hit a home run.”
Gordon will most likey be replaced by partner Dan Gladden and Jack Morris; both of whom played in that 1991 World Series. Gladden and Morris fill in for Gordon on his off days and Gladden will call innings of games Gordon has off. Gordon has been critized from time to time for his methods of calling the game. “Every ball that is hit in the air is a home run to him.” said one fan I asked today. She was referring to Gordon’s tendencies to get overly excited at balls hit (in Gordo’s words) “high and deep.”
But most fans have fond memories of Gordon, despite flaws he has. “The man is the voice of my childhood. It won’t be the same without him,” said another fan. Gordon was elected into the Pavek Museum of Broadcasting in 2008 where he now sits among other Minnesota sports broadcasting legends such as Sid Hartman and Gordon’s late partner and mentor Herb Carneal.
But despite the fact the start of the potentially final season of his career is about to begin, Gordon is just as excited as ever. “It is such an exciting time for baseball,” Gordon said. He is hoping for a World Series title can bookend his career.
So are all of us John.
But regardless of the outcome of this season, one thins is for certain. Over his tenure with the Twins John Gordon has without a doubt, touched us all.