Twins broadcaster Gordon to retire after season

Twins broadcaster Gordon to retire after season

Twins broadcaster Gordon to retire after season
MINNEAPOLIS -- John Gordon has been the radio voice of the Twins since 1987, but the 2011 season will be his final one behind the microphone.

Gordon, 70, said he will retire from the broadcast booth following his 25th and final season with the Twins.

"It's time," Gordon said when reached by phone on Wednesday night. "My wife, Nancy, and I want to do some traveling. We want an opportunity to see our families and spend some time with them. I just want an opportunity to see what's out there after 43 years in professional baseball and 25 years of working with the Minnesota Twins."

It had already been announced in December that Gordon would be reducing his workload for the 2011 season to 90 games -- 60 home games and 30 on the road -- after working 150 games for the past two seasons. He'll still be joined by partner Dan Gladden to make up the Twins' primary radio broadcast team.

In addition to the 90 regular-season games, Gordon is also expected to call around 15 Spring Training broadcasts as well.

Twins president Dave St. Peter said back in December when the broadcast changes were announced that Gordon had wanted to spend more time with his family outside of the booth and that was the reason for the reduced schedule. And Gordon stressed on Wednesday that his decision to retire has nothing to do with his health either.

"At this present time, I have no health problems," said the avid golfer, who has spent a lot of time during the offseason hitting the links. "I'm pretty busy. It's not like I'm laying back by any means, I'm just working into what will be a new phase."

With Gordon working a reduced schedule this season, Ted Robinson and Bob Kurtz are set to return to the Twins' broadcast booth and call 25 games each, while Kris Atteberry will do about 45 games in a play-by-play and analyst role.

A Detroit native, Gordon began his broadcasting career with the Spartanburg Phillies in 1965 after graduating from Indiana University. He spent five years with Spartanburg before joining the Orioles from 1970-73. After a stint at the University of Virginia broadcasting football and basketball games, Gordon returned to baseball as the voice of the Yankees' then-Triple-A Columbus affiliate in 1977. He then joined the Yankees' broadcast crew from 1982-86 before coming to the Twins in '87.

During his broadcasting career in Minnesota, Gordon called the Twins' two World Series championships when they won in 1987 and in '91. His signature "Touch 'Em All" home run call will perhaps best be remembered for the only time he repeated it twice, Kirby Puckett's Game 6 home run in the 1991 World Series.

"Winning the two World Series titles and the six division titles in the last nine years, all those are wonderful experiences I've had with the Twins," Gordon said. "But more than anything, the fact that I'm thankful that I've had the chance to work with what I feel is the best organization in all of baseball. I'm very, very fortunate to stay with an organization for 25 years. There aren't many broadcasters in the business today that have that type of longevity."

As he gets set to enter his final season as the voice of the Twins, Gordon said he is at ease with his decision to retire. Although his season schedule will be lighter than in years past, Gordon will serve as the team's play-by-play voice should the Twins make it to the postseason again in 2011.

And perhaps the most fitting way for Gordon's career with the Twins to end would be to have the same result as when it began -- with him calling a World Series win.

"That would be a great experience," Gordon said. "There is nothing like being a part of a championship run. It's like 1991 happened last week and 1987 happened last month. It's a memory that will never leave you."

Kelly Thesier is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Kelly's Corner and follow her on Twitter at kellythesier. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.