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Mel Allen

"There goes another Ballantine Blast!"   Mel added...after drinking a Ballantine beer, "You'll be glad you did!"

Mel Allen (February 14, 1913 – June 16, 1996) was an American sportscaster, best known for his long tenure as the primary play-by-play announcer for the New York Yankees. During the peak of his career in the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s, Allen was arguably the most prominent member of his profession, his voice familiar to millions. In his later years, he gained a second professional life as the first host of This Week in Baseball.   One of the first prominent American sportscasters, Mel Allen established himself as a sportcasting icon as the Voice of the New York Yankees baseball team from 1939 to 1964.  Educated as a lawyer, the Alabaman also broadcast New York Giants baseball games from 1939 to 1943, 20 World Series, 24 All-Star baseball games, a season of Cleveland Indians Major League games in 1968, as well as 14 Rose Bowl games, 2 Orange Bowls, 2 Sugar Bowls, and countless other major sporting events.  Allen was present for nearly every major Yankees’ event from Joe DiMaggio’s 56-game hitting streak in 1941 to Roger Maris’s record-breaking 61 home runs in 1961. It was Allen who introduced Lou Gehrig to a packed Yankee Stadium on July 4, 1939, preceding Gehrig’s historic “Today, I am the luckiest man in the world” farewell, and he introduced a stricken Babe Ruth at his sad 1948 adieu. He dubbed DiMaggio “Joltin’ Joe,” Tommy Henrich “Old Reliable,” and Phil Rizzuto “The Scooter.” His endearing signature phrase was “How about that!”  Allen came out of retirement in 1978 to call the New York cable TV coverage of Yankee games through 1985 and served as host of the long-running weekly syndicated television series, This Week in Baseball, nearly until his death.  A winner of numerous industry, listener, and viewer awards, Allen was the fourth person elected to the National (U.S.A.) Sportswriters and Broadcasters Hall of Fame in March 1972. In 1978, he and fellow New York sportscaster Red Barber were the first to be honored with the Ford Frick Award, Major League Baseball’s Hall of Fame recognition for broadcasters. In 1985, Allen was inducted into the American Sportscasters Hall of Fame.

Some information was provided by: International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame

Mel Allen Photo Gallery

                                                   

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