“This is the fascinating story, lyrically told by Curt Smith, of the all-time Voice of Baseball. Smith deftly dispels many of the ugly myths that have long haunted the legacy of this titan of broadcasting.”
Fay Vincent, Major League Baseball Commissioner, 1989-92
The Voice is the stunning story, brilliantly told, of a life without parallel in sportscasting history: a man who had all, lost all, and, incredibly, came back. To postWorld War II America, Mel Allen defined radio and TV, airing the World Series, All-Star Game, Rose Bowl, and Movietone newsreels. Variety magazine called his voice among the world’s 25 most recognizable. Allen’s en famille was baseball’s gold standard: the New York Yankees. The nation’s premier sportscaster was in love with his work, yet always afraid it would end.
In 1940, Mel, 27, became Yankees Voice. In 1964, spurning comment, the pinstripes fired him, near Allen’s peak as an institution. To the average person, America’s nonpareil Voice became a nonperson, simply ceasing to exist. Columnist Maury Allen has covered sports since 1959: “No topic caused more mail than why the Yankees fired Mel.” This is the first book to explain why.
The Voice also tells how Allen responded: gallantly, even nobly. In the mid-1970s, television’s new “This Week In Baseball” asked Mel to audition. Even at “TWIB,” many thought him dead. Instead, Allen forged TV’s highest-rated syndicated sports serial. “For years he was a forgotten man,” said Sports Illustrated, “but it has all come back to him in abundance.” The Voice: Mel Allen’s Untold Story etches the extraordinary rise, ruin, and recovery of baseball’s ultimate broadcasting celebrity.