John Gordon: Ready for a final touch

Signing off for good after 25 seasons as the radio voice of the Twins, John Gordon called two World Series and helped his community.

hide

Broadcast announcer John Gordon at the Twins game Thursday vs. Seattle.

Photo: Glen Stubbe, Star Tribune

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

John Gordon is known for his trademark home run call, "touch 'em all!" It was developed in the early 1980's while calling games for the Yankees with Phil Rizzuto.

There was one "touch 'em all" call per homer. Only once did he say it twice: Kirby Puckett's home run in Game 6 of the 1991 World Series.

He has another call, one that he makes after the microphones have been turned off: "That's all there is. There is NO more!" It bounces off the walls of his booth at the end every broadcast.

It would be appropriate for him use it on air Wednesday night as he calls his final game before retiring after his 25th season with the Twins.

Gordon, 71, will be honored once again before Wednesday's game. Bert Blyleven, Dan Gladden, Dick Bremer and current Royals announcer Ryan Lefebvre will deliver speeches, and a video tribute from sportscasters around the country will be played.

"Gordo's the best," Twins catcher Joe Mauer said. "Growing up, being a Minnesota kid, you think of summer when you hear his voice and Twins baseball."

Gordon tried pitching as youngster, and it didn't go well. At the end of what he described as "a mediocre career," he studied broadcasting at the University of Indiana. His first job out of college was calling games for a Phillies affiliate in Spartansburg, Pa., in 1965. From there he called games for the Orioles, the University of Virginia, then the Yankees' Class AAA affiliate in Columbus, Ohio. He was promoted to the Yankees in 1982, and stayed with the club through 1986.

Gordon flew to Minnesota around Christmas of 1986 to interview with the Twins. Tom Kelly, the interim manager in 1986, was on the same flight coming from New Jersey to interview for a permanent position.

"We recognized each other on the airplane." Gordon said. They had an auspicious debut: The Twins were World Series champs in 1987.

Gordon, who grew up in Detroit listening to the legendary Ernie Harwell, couldn't have been hooked up with two more different personalities in the booth -- the late Herb Carneal at first, followed by Dan Gladden for the past 11 seasons.

"I don't want to say it was a difference of night and day, because it makes night look better than day and day look better than night," Gordon said. "It wasn't. Night was wonderful. Day was wonderful. ... We changed the personality of the broadcast when Danny came on. With Herb we were more traditional. When Danny came on we became contemporary."

Gordon has been extremely active in the community behind the scenes. For 18 years, he held the "Touch 'em All" charity golf tournament, raising about $500,000 for nonprofits, including the Twins Community Fund and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. The FCA gave him a Waterford crystal after the final tournament earlier this month.

"John Gordon will go down as one of the greatest characters in the history of our franchise," Twins President Dave St. Peter said. "His love of the game, one-of-a-kind broadcasting style and passion for Twins Radio Network affiliates made him the ultimate team ambassador."

Gordon never has added up the games he has called in his career, but if he's called Twins games for 25 years it would be more than 3,000 if he averaged at least 120 games a year. Even with a lightened workload the past couple of years, it's safe to assume Gordon has called at least that many.

Gordon and his wife Nancy have plenty planned after the season, with traveling and remaining active atop the list. He is not shutting down, he says, just moving on.

Earlier this month, Gordon and Gladden were preparing to call a game against the Royals in Kansas City on a perfect night for baseball. Gladden turned to Gordon and said, "You can't tell me you're not going to miss this."

"I got to think about it afterwards,'' Gordon said. "I said to myself, 'I've seen this before.' It's not the first time I've seen a perfect setting for a baseball game. I've been fortunate to be in the position I'm in -- to sit down and make a living broadcasting baseball."

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions
Final123456789RHE
Minnesota000000000040
Detroit «00100002X340
@Ballpark Replay
Preview | Matchup | Lineup | Log | Wrap | Box
W:D.Price(15-12) L:K.Gibson(13-12) S:J.Nathan (35)
HR: MIN- None DET- I.Kinsler (17)

ADVERTISEMENT

Tampa Bay 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland
Arizona 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Dallas
Philadelphia 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Houston
NY Jets 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Jacksonville 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
San Diego 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Washington 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Minnesota
St. Louis 11/2/14 3:05 PM
San Francisco
Denver 11/2/14 3:25 PM
New England
Oakland 11/2/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Baltimore 11/2/14 7:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Indianapolis 11/3/14 7:30 PM
NY Giants
Cleveland 11/6/14 7:25 PM
Cincinnati
Memphis 6:00 PM
Indiana
Cleveland 7:00 PM
Chicago
Philadelphia 7:30 PM
Milwaukee
Portland 9:00 PM
Sacramento
San Antonio 9:00 PM
Phoenix
LA Clippers 9:30 PM
LA Lakers
Toronto 6:00 PM
Columbus
Los Angeles 6:30 PM
Detroit
Anaheim 7:30 PM
Dallas
Nashville 8:00 PM
Calgary
(2) Florida State 42 FINAL
Louisville 31
Troy 10 FINAL
Ga Southern 42
Cincinnati 7:00 PM
Tulane
Tulsa 7:02 PM
Memphis
Air Force 11/1/14 10:30 AM
Army
ULM 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Texas A&M
(19) Oklahoma 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
Northwestern 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Iowa
(24) Duke 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Maryland 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
Wisconsin 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Rutgers
Rice 11/1/14 11:00 AM
FIU
(21) East Carolina 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Temple
UCF 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Connecticut
Boston College 11/1/14 11:30 AM
Virginia Tech
North Carolina 11/1/14 11:30 AM
Miami-Florida
Washington 11/1/14 12:00 PM
Colorado
Central Mich 11/1/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
Western Mich 11/1/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Western Ky 11/1/14 2:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
NC State 11/1/14 2:00 PM
Syracuse
Virginia 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Georgia Tech
Purdue 11/1/14 2:30 PM
(17) Nebraska
BYU 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Middle Tennessee
(10) TCU 11/1/14 2:30 PM
(20) West Virginia
Indiana 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Florida 11/1/14 2:30 PM
(9) Georgia
Georgia State 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Appalachian St
Kentucky 11/1/14 3:00 PM
Missouri
Kansas 11/1/14 3:00 PM
(12) Baylor
Texas State 11/1/14 3:00 PM
New Mexico St
Houston 11/1/14 3:00 PM
So Florida
USC 11/1/14 3:30 PM
Washington St
Arkansas State 11/1/14 4:00 PM
Idaho
South Alabama 11/1/14 4:00 PM
Louisiana
New Mexico 11/1/14 4:30 PM
UNLV
UAB 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
(4) Auburn 11/1/14 6:00 PM
(7) Ole Miss
Old Dominion 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Vanderbilt
Colorado State 11/1/14 6:00 PM
San Jose St
Arkansas 11/1/14 6:15 PM
(1) Miss State
Stanford 11/1/14 6:30 PM
(5) Oregon
Tennessee 11/1/14 6:30 PM
So Carolina
Texas 11/1/14 6:30 PM
Texas Tech
Southern Miss 11/1/14 7:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
(6) Notre Dame 11/1/14 7:00 PM
Navy
Oklahoma State 11/1/14 7:00 PM
(11) Kansas State
Illinois 11/1/14 7:00 PM
(13) Ohio State
(14) Arizona 11/1/14 9:30 PM
(25) UCLA
California 11/1/14 9:30 PM
Oregon State
San Diego St 11/1/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
Wyoming 11/1/14 9:45 PM
Fresno State
(18) Utah 11/1/14 10:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Utah State 11/1/14 10:00 PM
Hawaii
Bowling Green 11/4/14 7:00 PM
Akron
Toledo 11/4/14 7:00 PM
Kent State
Buffalo 11/5/14 7:00 PM
Ohio U
Northern Ill 11/5/14 7:00 PM
Ball State
(22) Clemson 11/6/14 6:30 PM
Wake Forest
Memphis 11/7/14 6:30 PM
Temple
Utah State 11/7/14 7:00 PM
Wyoming
(12) Baylor 11/8/14 2:00 AM
(19) Oklahoma
(11) Kansas State 11/8/14 2:00 AM
(10) TCU
Hamilton 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Winnipeg 11/1/14 3:00 PM
Calgary
Brt Columbia 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Toronto 11/2/14 11:00 AM
Montreal
Ottawa 11/7/14 6:00 PM
Toronto
Calgary 11/7/14 9:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Montreal 11/8/14 3:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 11/8/14 6:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Should the Twins contact Joe Maddon about their managing job?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close