Heller: An appreciation of announcer Mel Allen

From Dick Heller at The National Pastime Museum on March 12, 2014:

One glorious day in 1952, record stores were blessed by the arrival of an LP called Greatest Moments in Sports. The album cover showed the Bambino hugging the doomed Iron Horse on Lou Gehrig Appreciation Day at Yankee Stadium on July 4, 1939. Included were such memorable snippets as Babe Ruth’s own farewell in 1948, Russ Hodges’s call of Bobby Thomson’s Shot Heard Round the World home run in 1951 (“The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant! . . . I do not believe it!”), and Red Barber’s description of a key moment in the 1947 World Series (“Gionfriddo goes back! Back, back, back, back! And he makes a one-handed catch against the bullpen! O-ho doctor!”).

I literally wore the grooves off that vinyl record. Sixty-two years later, it remains in my collection, although in much worse shape than the accompanying liner notes by Red Smith.

All this came rushing back to mind recently with the appearance of a CD called Mel Allen: Voice of the Yankees—the latest in a “Voices of the Game” series produced and narrated by Chicago Cubs broadcaster Pat Hughes. Similar discs have featured such eminent play-by-play men as Barber, Harry Caray, and Jack Buck. (I guess Vin Scully didn’t have enough experience to be included.)

Read the full article here: http://www.thenationalpastimemuseum.com/article/mel-allen

Originally published: March 13, 2014. Last Updated: March 13, 2014.