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. Events 842 - Charles the Bald and Louis the German swear the Oaths of Strasbourg in the French and German Year 1913 ( MCMXIII) was a Common year starting on Wednesday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common Events 1487 - Battle of Stoke Field, the last dying breath of the Wars of the Roses. Year 1996 ( MCMXCVI) was a Leap year starting on Monday (link will display full 1996 Gregorian calendar) The United States of America —commonly referred to as the A sportscaster, (also sports announcer, sport commentator or sport presenter) is a type of Journalist on Radio and/or Television Play-by-play, in Broadcasting, is a North American term and means the reporting of a Sporting event with a Voiceover describing the details of the action The New York Yankees are a professional baseball team based in the borough of The Bronx, in New York City, New York. 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. This Week in Baseball is a weekly Television program, originally designed to show highlights of the previous week's Major League Baseball action
Allen was born Melvin Allen Israel in Birmingham, Alabama. Birmingham (ˈbɝmɪŋhæm is the largest City in the US state of Alabama and is the County seat of Jefferson County. (Biographer Stephen Borelli notes Allen added the middle name Avrom, to honor a grandfather of his with that name who had died. ) The future sportscaster was educated as a lawyer, but a boyhood love for baseball led him to become first a sports columnist and then a radio announcer. A lawyer, according to Black's Law Dictionary, is "a person learned in the law as an attorney, Counsel or Solicitor; a person Baseball is a Bat-and-ball Sport played between two teams of nine players each He attended the University of Alabama where he was a member of Zeta Beta Tau Fraternity as an undergraduate. Zeta Beta Tau ( ZBT, brothers of which are nicknamed Zebes) is a historically Jewish, presently Nonsectarian international fraternity He went on to earn a law degree from Alabama as well.
During his time at Alabama, Israel served as the public address announcer at Alabama football games. A public address or " PA " system is an electronic amplification system with a mixer, Amplifier and Loudspeakers used to College football is American football played by teams of student athletes fielded by American universities, Colleges and military academies In 1933, when Birmingham's WBRC asked Alabama coach Frank Thomas to recommend a new play-by-play announcer, Thomas suggested Israel. WERC (960 AM, "News Radio 960" is a Radio station licensed to Birmingham Alabama. Frank W Thomas ( November 15, 1898 &ndash May 10, 1954) was the head football coach of the University of Alabama from 1932 His first broadcast was Alabama's home opener that year, against Tulane. Tulane University is a private, Nonsectarian, Coeducational Research university located in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Soon after graduating in 1937, Israel took a train to New York City for a week's vacation. The City of New York As it turned out, one week became 60 years; he settled in New York and lived in the New York metro area (first New York State, then Connecticut) for the rest of his life. 
While on vacation, Israel auditioned for the CBS Radio Network as a staff announcer. The CBS Radio Network provides news sports and other programming to more than 1000 radio stations throughout the United States CBS executives already knew of Israel; the network's top sportscaster, Ted Husing, had heard many of Israel's Crimson Tide broadcasts. Edward Britt (Ted Husing ( November 27, 1901 - August 10, 1962) was an American sportscaster and was among the first to lay the groundwork Israel was hired at $45 a week.  He often did non-sports announcing such as big band remotes or game show announcements. A big band is a type of Musical ensemble associated with playing jazz music and which became popular during the Swing Era from the early 1930s until the late Among the game shows, he did Truth or Consequences. Truth or Consequences was an American quiz show, originally hosted on NBC Radio by Ralph Edwards (1940-57 and later on television He would serve as an understudy to both sportscaster Husing and newscaster Bob Trout. Robert (Bob Trout ( October 15, 1909 - November 14, 2000) was an American broadcast news reporter best known for his radio work before and during
In his first year at CBS, he announced the crash of the Hindenburg, interrupting Kate Smith to do so. WikipediaWikiProject Aircraft. Please see WikipediaWikiProject Aircraft/page content for recommended layout Kathryn Elizabeth "Kate" Smith ( May 1, 1907 &ndash June 17, 1986) was an American Singer, best known for her rendition He first became a national celebrity when he ad libbed for a half-hour during the rain-delayed Vanderbilt Cup from an airplane. The Vanderbilt Cup was the first major trophy in American Auto racing. 
In 1938, Israel landed his first major baseball assignment, as color commentator for the World Series. The 1938 World Series matched the two-time defending champion New York Yankees against the Chicago Cubs, with the Yankees sweeping the Series in four games for This led Wheaties to tap him to replace Arch McDonald as the voice of the Washington Senators for the 1939 season; McDonald was moving to New York as the first full-time radio voice of the Yankees and Giants. Wheaties, a wheat and bran mixture baked into flakes is a Breakfast cereal introduced in 1924 and marketed by the General Arch Linn McDonald ( May 23 1901 &ndash October 16 1960) was an American Radio broadcaster who served as the voice of The Minnesota Twins are a professional baseball team based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Headline Event of the Year On May 17, 1939, Princeton University and Columbia University played the first televised baseball The San Francisco Giants are a Major League Baseball team based in, that currently play in the National League West Division. However, Wheaties gave in to owner Clark Griffith's desire to have Walter Johnson behind the mike. Clark Calvin Griffith ( November 20, 1869 - October 27, 1955) nicknamed "the Old Fox" was a Major League Baseball Walter Perry Johnson ( November 6, 1887 – December 10, 1946) nicknamed "The Big Train" was an American right-handed 
Israel didn't have to wait long for a break, however. In June 1939, Garnett Marks, McDonald's partner on Yankee broadcasts, twice mispronounced Ivory soap, the Yankees' sponsor at the time, as "Ovary Soap. Ivory, a white and mildly Fragranced bar Soap, is a product of the Procter & Gamble Company "Ovaria" redirects here This is also a proposed section and a Synonym of Solanum. " He was fired, and Israel was tapped to replace him. McDonald himself went back to Washington after only one season, and Israel became the Yankees' lead announcer. 
In Stephen Borelli's biography How About That!, the author states that it was at CBS's suggestion in 1937, the year Melvin Israel joined the network, that Israel go by a different on-air last name. He chose Allen, his father's middle name. He legally changed his name to Allen in 1943.
Allen was the voice of both the Yankees and the Giants until 1943, when he entered the United States Army during World War II. The United States Army is a military organization whose primary mission is to "provide necessary forces and capabilities. World War II, or the Second World War, (often abbreviated WWII) was a global military conflict which involved a majority of the world's nations, including While in the service, he broadcast on The Army Hour and Armed Forces Radio. American Forces Network (or AFN) is the brand name used by the United States Armed Forces Radio and Television Service (AFRTS for its entertainment
After the war, Allen began doing Yankees games exclusively. During this time, Allen and the Yankees were virtually one and the same, in part because of the Yankees' frequent World Series appearances. Allen eventually called 22 World Series on radio and television--including 18 in a row from 1946 to 1963. Even when the Yankees didn't appear in the Series (which only happened four times in 18 years), Allen's popularity was such that he was always tapped as the play-by-play man. He also called 24 All-Star Games. The Major League Baseball All-Star Game, also popularly known as the "Midsummer Classic" is an annual Baseball game between players from the National League
Indicative of his popularity during the 1950s, he was one of the first three celebrities spoofed in the just-created Mad comic book. Mad is a monthly American Humor Magazine founded by editor Harvey Kurtzman and publisher William Gaines in 1952 In the second issue, Allen, Leo Durocher and Yogi Berra were all caricatured in a baseball story, "Hex!", illustrated by Jack Davis. Leo Ernest Durocher ( July 27, 1905 – October 7, 1991) nicknamed Leo the Lip, was an American Infielder and Lawrence Peter "Yogi" Berra (born May 12 1925 in St Louis Missouri) is a former Major League Baseball player and manager Jack Davis (b December 2, 1924, Atlanta Georgia) is an American Cartoonist and Illustrator.
After Russ Hodges departed from the Yankees booth for the New York Giants, a young Curt Gowdy was a broadcast partner for two seasons 1949-50, brought in from Oklahoma City after winning a national audition. Russell Patrick Hodges ( June 18, 1910 – April 19, 1971) was an American broadcaster who did Curtis Edward Gowdy ( July 31 1919 – February 20 2006) was an American Sportscaster, well-known as the longtime "voice" Athletics Marathon International Races August 20 &mdash Enschede Marathon, Netherlands Athletics Marathon International Races August 23 &mdash European Championships Marathon, Brussels Oklahoma City is the capital and largest city of the US state of Oklahoma. Gowdy, originally from Wyoming, credited Mel Allen's mentoring as a big factor in his own success as a broadcaster. The State of Wyoming ( is a sparsely populated state in the western region of the United States. Gowdy became the play-by-play announcer for the Boston Red Sox in 1951. The Boston Red Sox are a Professional baseball team based in Boston Massachusetts, and are the reigning (2007 World Series Champions. Athletics Marathon International Races March 6 &mdash Pan American Games Marathon, Buenos Aires
Among Allen's many catchphrases were "Hello there, everybody!" to start a game, "How about that?!" or "Going, going, gone!" on home runs and "Three and two. A catch phrase (or catchphrase) is a phrase or expression recognized by its repeated utterance In Baseball and Softball, a full count is the common name for a count where the batter has three balls and two strikes. What'll he do?"
Allen famously lost his voice during the 1963 World Series, in which the Dodgers defeated the Yankees in a four-game sweep. The 1963 World Series matched the two-time defending champion New York Yankees against the Los Angeles Dodgers, with the Dodgers sweeping the Series in four games 
Fittingly for a man who got his first breaks in Alabama and New York calling college football, Allen did a number of bowl games: 14 Rose Bowls, 2 Orange Bowls, and 2 Sugar Bowls. College football is American football played by teams of student athletes fielded by American universities, Colleges and military academies The Rose Bowl Game is an annual American College football Bowl game, usually played on January 1 ( New Year's Day) at the Rose The Orange Bowl is an annual College football game that is usually played the first week in January in the Miami Florida metro area in the United States The Sugar Bowl is an annual American College football Bowl game played in the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans Louisiana. For many years Allen also provided voiceover narration for Fox Movietone newsreels. The term voice-over refers to a production technique where a non-diagetic voice is broadcast live or pre-recorded in Radio, Television, Film, Movietone News known in the US as Fox Movietone News, produced cinema sound Newsreels from 1928-1963 in the U A newsreel is a Documentary film that is regularly released in a public presentation place containing filmed News stories
Allen also served as play-by-play announcer of New York Football Giants games on WCBS-AM in 1960 - with some of the games also being carried by the CBS Radio Network. The New York Giants are a professional American football team based in the New York City suburb of East Rutherford New Jersey. WCBS (880 kHz often referred to as "WCBS Newsradio 880", is a Radio station in New York City. Allen was behind the WCBS mike when Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Chuck Bednarik levelled Giants running back Frank Gifford during a clash at Yankee Stadium. The Philadelphia Eagles are a professional American football team based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Charles Philip Bednarik (born May 1, 1925) is a former professional football player, known as one of the most devastating tacklers in the history of football Francis Newton "Frank" Gifford (born August 16 1930) is a former American football player and one of the better-known American The original Yankee Stadium is a Stadium located in The Bronx in New York City.
Allen hosted Jackpot Bowling on NBC in 1959. Jackpot Bowling also known as Phillies Jackpot Bowling and Jackpot Bowling Starring Milton Berle was a professional bowling show He became host after Leo Durocher quit to return to coaching. Leo Ernest Durocher ( July 27, 1905 – October 7, 1991) nicknamed Leo the Lip, was an American Infielder and Allen's lack of bowling knowledge made him an unpopular host ,  and that April, Bud Palmer replaced him as the show's host. John S (Bud Palmer (b September 14, 1921 in Hollywood California) is a former pro Basketball player
In the early 1960s, Allen hosted the three-hour Saturday morning segment of the NBC Radio program "Monitor. For NBC 's 1983 television news magazine series see Monitor (TV. " He also contributed sportscasts to the program until the late 1960s.
In 1964, the Yankees made the World Series for the 15th time in 19 years -- but Allen wasn't there. Champions Major League Baseball World Series: St Louis Cardinals over New York Yankees (4-3 Bob Gibson, MVP Back in September, before the end of the season, the Yankees informed Allen that his contract with the team would not be renewed. In those days, the main announcers for the Series participants always called the World Series on NBC. The National Broadcasting Company ( NBC) is an American Television network headquartered in the GE Building in New York City's Although Allen was thus technically eligible to call the Series, Baseball Commissioner Ford Frick honored the Yankees' request to have Phil Rizzuto join the Series crew instead. Ford Christopher Frick ( December 19, 1894 – April 8, 1978) was an American Sportswriter and executive who served Philip Francis Rizzuto ( September 25 1917 &ndash August 13 2007) nicknamed "The Scooter" was an American Shortstop It was the first time Allen had missed a World Series for which the Yankees were eligible since 1943, and only the second World Series (not counting those missed during World War II) that he'd missed since he began calling baseball games in 1938.
On December 17, after much media speculation and many letters to the Yankees from fans disgruntled at Allen's absence from the Series, the Yankees issued a terse press release announcing Allen's firing; he was replaced by Joe Garagiola. Events 546 - Gothic War (535–554: The Ostrogoths of King Totila For this person's son the baseball executive see Joe Garagiola Jr NBC and Movietone dropped him soon afterward.
To this day, the Yankees have never given an explanation for Allen's firing, and rumors abounded. Depending on the rumor, Allen was homosexual, an alcoholic, a drug addict, or had a nervous breakdown. Homosexuality refers to sexual behavior with or attraction to people of the same sex or to a Homosexual orientation.  Allen's sexuality was sometimes a target in those more conservative days because he hadn't married (and never did).
Years later, Allen told author Curt Smith that the Yankees had fired him under pressure from the team's longtime sponsor, Ballantine Beer. Curt Smith (born 20 March According to Allen, he was fired as a cost-cutting move by Ballantine, which had been experiencing poor sales for years (it would eventually be sold in 1969). Smith, in his book Voices of Summer, also indicated that the medications Allen took in order to maintain his busy schedule may have affected his on-air performance. (Stephen Borelli, another biographer, has also pointed out that Allen's heavy workload didn't allow him time to take care of his health. )
Allen was Merle Harmon's partner for Milwaukee Braves games in 1965, and worked Cleveland Indians games on television in 1968. Merle Reid Harmon (born June 21, 1926 in Salem Illinois) is a former American Sportscaster. The Cleveland Indians are a professional baseball team based in Cleveland, Ohio, United States. But he would not commit to either team full-time, or to the Oakland Athletics, who also wanted to hire him after the team's move from Kansas City. The Oakland Athletics are a professional baseball team based in Oakland, California. Despite the firing in 1964, Allen remained loyal to the Yankees for the remainder of his life, and to this day -- years after his death -- he is still popularly known as the Voice of the Yankees.
Eventually, the Yankees allowed him to again perform as a speaker at special Yankee Stadium ceremonies, including Old Timers' Day, which Allen had handled when he was lead announcer. While Yankees broadcaster Frank Messer (who joined the club in 1968) became emcee for Old Timers' Day and special events like Mickey Mantle Day from the 1960s onward, the Yankees made sure to also invite Allen to call the actual ballgame between the Old Timers and to take part in player's number-retirement honors. Wallace Frank Messer ( August 8, 1925 - November 13, 2001) was an American sportscaster best known for his 18 seasons announcing New York Mickey Charles Mantle ( October 20, 1931 &ndash August 13, 1995) was an American Baseball player who was inducted
Allen was welcomed back to the Yankees' on-air family in 1976 as a pre/post-game host for the cable telecasts with John Sterling, and eventually started calling play-by-play again. He announced Yankees cable telecasts on SportsChannel New York (now FSN New York) along with the regular crew of Phil Rizzuto, Bill White, Frank Messer, and occasionally Fran Healy. MSG Plus ( MSG+) is a Regional sports network in the New York City metropolitan area, whose reach expands to cover the entire state of New York Philip Francis Rizzuto ( September 25 1917 &ndash August 13 2007) nicknamed "The Scooter" was an American Shortstop William De Kova "Bill" White (born January 28 1934 in Lakewood Florida) is a former Professional baseball First baseman Francis Xavier Healy (born September 6, 1946 in Holyoke Massachusetts) is a former Baseball Catcher best known for his long tenure
Allen remained with the Yankees' play-by-play crew until 1985. and made occasional appearances on Yankee telecasts and commercials into the late 1980s. In 1990, Allen called play-by-play for a WPIX Yankees game to officially make him baseball's first seven-decade announcer. WPIX, channel 11 is a television station in New York City. It has been owned by the Tribune Company since its inception and is currently an affiliate of the
Among the memorable moments Allen called in that stretch were Yankee outfielder Reggie Jackson's 400th home run in 1980, and Yankee pitcher Dave Righetti's no-hitter on July 4, 1983. Reginald Martinez Jackson (born May 18 1946) nicknamed " Mr Champions Major League Baseball World Series: Philadelphia Phillies over Kansas City Royals (4-2 Mike Schmidt, MVP David Allan Righetti (born November 28, 1958 in San Jose California) is a former American left-handed Pitcher for various Major Events 836 - Pactum Sicardi, peace between the Principality of Benevento and the Duchy of Naples Champions Major League Baseball World Series: Baltimore Orioles over Philadelphia Phillies (4-1 Rick Dempsey,
In his later years, Allen was exposed to a new audience as the host of the syndicated highlights show This Week in Baseball, which he hosted from its inception in 1977 until his death. This Week in Baseball is a weekly Television program, originally designed to show highlights of the previous week's Major League Baseball action This Week in Baseball is a weekly Television program, originally designed to show highlights of the previous week's Major League Baseball action The year 1977 in television involved some significant eventsBelow is a list of Television -related events in 1977. Between his Major League Baseball assignments and his announcing duties for the Yankees, Allen again became the embodiment of the national pastime's spirit. The only quibble some critics (including the New York Post's Leonard Shechter) had about Allen would be with his loquaciousness, both on the air and in one-on-one conversations. The New York Post is the 13th-oldest Newspaper published in the United States and generally acknowledged as the oldest to have been published continually
Mel Allen reached yet another generation of fans in 1994 when he recorded the play-by-play for two computer baseball games, Tony La Russa Baseball and Old Time Baseball, which were published by Stormfront Studios. Events 1994 &mdash Nintendo calls this year "1994 The Year of the Cartridge" Tony La Russa Baseball is a Baseball computer and Video game console Sports game series (1991-1997 designed by Don Daglow Old Time Baseball is a Baseball computer Personal computer game ( 1995) designed and programmed by Don Daglow, Hudson Stormfront Studios was a Video game developer based in San Rafael California which had one of the longest creative histories in the industry The games included his signature "How about that?!" home run call, which he had first used almost fifty years earlier. Allen also used that signature during a cameo in the movie The Naked Gun. The Naked Gun From the Files of Police Squad! is a 1988 Comedy film, the first in a series of films starring Leslie Nielsen,
|“||Allen was a dream to work with. Don Daglow (born circa 1953 is an American Computer game and Video game designer, programmer and producer. Computer Gaming World ( CGW) was founded in 1981 by Russell Sipe as a bimonthly publication If something sounded the least bit off, he caught it himself and self-corrected before you even had a chance to ask for another take. Sometimes he'd hear a problem live that we would only have noticed later. When he was reading the long list of numbers that would be spliced into sentences to announce batting averages and so on, he stopped suddenly and said, 'That's not good. ' Then he started again and finished the list. When we checked the tape we heard that he had just started to get a sing-song rhythm from repeating too many numbers in a row, and he'd noticed before anyone else had.||”|
In 1978 Allen was one of the first two winners of the Baseball Hall of Fame's Ford C. Frick Award. Champions Major League Baseball World Series: New York Yankees over Los Angeles Dodgers (4-2 Bucky Dent, MVP The Ford C Frick Award is an award bestowed annually by the National Baseball Hall of Fame in the United States to a Broadcaster for "major contributions (The other was his old MLB and CBS Radio colleague Red Barber, who for some time served alongside Allen as the Yankees' announcer after making his name with the Brooklyn Dodgers. Walter Lanier "Red" Barber ( February 17, 1908, Columbus Mississippi – October 22, 1992) was an American The Los Angeles Dodgers are a Major League Baseball team based in Los Angeles California, USA ) Allen was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 1988. History The National Radio Hall of Fame and Museum, located in the Museum of Broadcast Communications in Chicago Illinois, is a Museum dedicated
Upon his death at age 83, Allen was buried at Temple Beth El Cemetery in Stamford, Connecticut. Stamford is a city in Fairfield County, Connecticut, United States. On July 25, 1998, the Yankees dedicated a plaque in his memory for Monument Park at Yankee Stadium. Events 285 - Diocletian appoints Maximian as Caesar, co-ruler Headline events of the year Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Ken Griffey Jr The plaque calls him "A Yankee institution, a national treasure" and includes his signature line, "How about that?"
After FOX relaunched TWIB in 2000 (after a one-year hiatus), it used a claymation version of Allen, with his signature hat, to open and close the show until 2002. Champions Major League Baseball Regular Season Champions Other champions Caribbean World Series: Clay animation is one of many forms of Stop motion animation Each animated piece either character or background is "deformable"&mdashmade of a malleable substance Champions Major League Baseball Regular Season Champions Other champions Caribbean World Series:
|Ford C. Frick Award|