The great Mel Allen was born 100 years ago today. Mel Allen was “The Voice of The Yankees” in the 1940’s-50’s and into the 1960’s. He is known to most today as the voice of “This Week In Baseball.” There are two schools of baseball radio play-by-play men- the Red Barber School and the Mel Allen School. Red Barber was the great play by play man for the Brooklyn Dodgers. He did it by the book. He reported the game. He wasn’t a homer. Mel Allen was a homer. You knew who he was rooting for. Growing up in Pittsburgh during the 1960’s-1970’s I was exposed to Bob Prince doing the Pirate games. “The Gunner” was the ultimate homer. I prefer the play by play guys from the Mel Allen School, much more interesting. Of course today I find very few play by play men who are very interesting. Most of the guys today seem to have graduated from a third school- the Ted Baxter School of Broadcasting.
Mel Allen died in 1996 at the age of 83. We will never see the like of him again.