"There's a fly ball out to right field...that ball is going, going...it is gone!" The voice was unmistakable. From the 1930s until his death in 1996, Mel Allen riveted generations of sports fans with his resonant Southern tones on radio and television. His signature calls of "How about that!" (after a spectacular play) and "Going... going... gone!" (to frame a home run) made him an American icon.
How About That! The Life of Mel Allen is the first biography on perhaps the most famous sports broadcaster. Author Stephen Borelli, who, like his father and grandfather, attentively followed Allen's on-air accounts, traces the announcer from tiny towns in Alabama to the glares of Yankee Stadium and the Rose Bowl. You brush shoulders with legendary college football coach Bear Bryant, famous radio host Ralph Edwards, and a lineup of New York Yankees legends that includes Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra and Casey Stengel. Allen had a fan following as frantic as theirs, including legions of female admirers. You experience baseball's glorious radio days, when announcers like Allen and his Brooklyn rival Red Barber gave listeners sight and sound and their depictions made ballplayers seem larger than life. Through Allen's folksy words, you follow a Yankees dynasty at its height, from the intensity on the field during a feverish 1949 pennant race with the Boston Red Sox and numerous "Subway Series" to the camaraderie in the clubhouse and on overnight train rides. You learn about Allen's fade from the national eye after the Yankees mysteriously dismissed him in 1964 and his second broadcasting life in the late 1970s through mid-1990s as host of the groundbreaking television show This Week in Baseball. During this period, a unique friendship with George Steinbrenner allowed Allen to call one last no-hitter as he became the voice of baseball again.
How About That! is the story of the American dream. A boy raised by Russian Jewish immigrants who face Ku Klux Klan persecution and Depression-era hardship rises to national fame with a magical voice and a touch of chance. He stays on top with a relentless drive to succeed that leaves him a lifelong bachelor, though always a devoted family man.