It's Gone - No, Wait a Minute: Talking My Way into the Big Leagues at 40

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How does someone go from being one of the most successful comedy writers and producers in Hollywood to being a major league baseball announcer? It isn't easy, but it is fun, at least the way Ken Levine tells it - and lives it. It's also hilarious, fascinating, sometimes embarrassing, and always entertaining. Along with his partner, David Isaacs, Ken Levine wrote for and produced such TV hit series as M*A*S*H and Cheers. He had a great life, terrific kids, a nice home. Everything he would want - except one thing. ...
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Overview

How does someone go from being one of the most successful comedy writers and producers in Hollywood to being a major league baseball announcer? It isn't easy, but it is fun, at least the way Ken Levine tells it - and lives it. It's also hilarious, fascinating, sometimes embarrassing, and always entertaining. Along with his partner, David Isaacs, Ken Levine wrote for and produced such TV hit series as M*A*S*H and Cheers. He had a great life, terrific kids, a nice home. Everything he would want - except one thing. Ken Levine was a baseball nut. He lived and breathed baseball, so he decided to do something about it. He began to "broadcast" games into a tape recorder, teaching himself as he went. Then he began auditioning. Then he landed a job announcing for a minor league team. And then, much to his shock and joy, he was chosen to be the Baltimore Orioles' radio announcer. It's Gone! ... No, Wait a Minute ... (the title comes from a blown home run call early in his career) is a charming and irreverent inside look at Levine's year on the road with the Orioles. He tells how it feels to interview Frank Robinson, knowing that the manager is about to be fired; what it's like to eat lunch with Jim Palmer during his not-so-successful comeback attempt; how it's possible to keep talking - and keep making sense - during a ninety-minute rain delay; what it's like to tell hundreds of thousands of listeners the wrong score; and how a forty-something rookie announcer can survive six months on the road with a major league baseball team while keeping his sanity reasonably intact. A diary from a perspective unlike any other, Ken Levine's wonderful baseball book is, as he might say himself, a solid double off the wall ... NO! IT'S A HOME RUN!
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Levine was chief writer and co-producer of the TV series M*A*S*H and Cheers when he set out to achieve his secret ambition to become a baseball broadcaster. After working in minor league cities, he was tapped to be the second banana on WBAL Radio in Baltimore in 1991, covering the Oriole games. He stayed for one season (he moved to Seattle, home to the Mariners), the subject of this uneven book. When discussing the personalities of his colleagues and members of the team, he is generous and tolerant of human frailty; when writing about the athletes' performances on the field, Levine becomes contemptuous. His weepy accounts of parting from his family, which he did dozens of times during the season, are annoying. The book is far less impressive than Levine's work for the tube. Author tour. (Mar.)
Library Journal
In the mid-60s, writer George Plimpton participated in a pro football team's training camp for all would-be Walter Mittys, which he recounted in Paper Lion ( LJ 10/1/66) . Some 25 years later, ``a writer approaching middle age decides to follow a lifelong dream and . . . becomes a major league baseball announcer.'' It's Gone! . . . No, Wait a Minute . . . is the day-by-day journal kept by Levine while he worked as a radio announcer for the Baltimore Orioles during the 1991 season. The diary of the former head writer and co-producer of the hit television shows Cheers and M*A*S*H is humorous and spiced with movie references. There is, however, minimal baseball to get in the way of this tongue-in-cheek account of life with a big league team. This book is excellent for light reading, and will be a welcome addition to public libraries.-- Albert Spencer, Coll . of Education, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Wes Lukowsky
The author was a successful television comedy writer ("M*A*S*H" and "Cheers") when he decided to pursue his dream of becoming a baseball announcer. To his surprise, he landed a minor-league job and not long thereafter found himself promoted to the Big Show, doing color for Baltimore Oriole games on the radio. This is Levine's diary of the 1990 season, when he was a rookie announcer. His comedy writing background is evident throughout: this is a very funny book, especially when he relates his own bloopers--note the title. Profiles of such genuinely decent people as announcers Ernie Harwell and Chuck Thompson, players Brady Anderson and Kevin Hickey, and even actor Kevin Costner are sprinkled throughout. Baseball fans sick of the latest revelations of greed or scandal surrounding the game are sure to enjoy this very different point of view: comic but not bitter, positive but not saccharine. A superbly entertaining change of pace.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780679420934
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 3/2/1993
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Pages: 295

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