A short tribute to WABI TV 5 legend Tim Throckmorton as he rides into the sunset

Since the day he started at WABI almost 40 years ago, by unofficial count he has been part off more than 9300 sportscasts and reported almost 75,000 stories. Those numbers could be a little smaller. They might be a lot larger. But they won’t grow past May 3, 2019. Because Tim Throckmorton is retiring.

Tim graduated from UMaine and found his way to 35 Hildreth Street in 1980. He worked on the radio as a DJ playing music, reading sports and voicing commercials. He wasn’t on the payroll very long before he transitioned to TV where he has remained for four decades.

My first in-person memory of Tim comes from 1987. He came to MDI and did a story on our boys basketball team, which was having one of the better seasons in school history. I was a junior. Tim did a nice feature piece and featured the Trojans on his high school tourney preview show that WABI used to air before the big week in February. I have teased Tim that he put a jinx on that squad as we lost the majority of the games down the stretch and got upset in the first round.

But from there I have nothing remotely bad to say about Throck. When I started as a Sports Reporter and Anchor at WLBZ TV in 1992, he was never anything but friendly and helpful.

When I came back to Maine in 2004 to host the afternoon sports talk show on WZON radio, the phone rang not long after I opened the mic for the first time and it was Tim. He was the first person I had on the air as he wished me well in the new endeavor.

He was a frequent guest on The Drive when I co-hosted that show, and he has been kind enough to let me rip and rant on Jeff’s Take which airs on WABI TV5 News to this day.

He’s even played golf with me a few times although after my fairly pathetic performance the last time out a few years ago, I noticed that he has not invited me back. Surely he has seen someone throw a club before? I mean in 40 years of sports coverage he must have seen it all, right?!

He has witnessed hundreds of nets being cut and hundreds more state championships in all sports. He has met and interviewed everyone from five year olds to some of the biggest names in pro sports. He has covered everything from UMaine hockey titles to Super Bowls. He has seen his kids play high school and college sports. What else is there left to do?

Tim is not going to hoist his white socks up to his knees and retreat to Florida. He’ll still be around. We’ll see him at occasional games. But not with a camera on his shoulder or a microphone stuck in his pocket.

There will never be another Tim Throckmorton. That’s not hyperbole. His record won’t be broken soon. He, like George Hale before him, has built a resume that won’t be matched.

When he signs off May 3 it will be the end of an era. They say you never want to be the person to replace a legend. Someone yet to to be named will have to do just that soon. But you can bet Tim will be right there to make sure that person succeeds. And maybe, just maybe, he’ll invite me to play golf again someday.

Jeff Solari

About Jeff Solari

Jeff Solari is the president and founder of the Sports Chowdah, Maine’s only free, weekly sports e mail newsletter. Recently, the Mount Desert Island native was the co-host of "The Drive" on 92.9 FM in Bangor.