'GOING, GOING . . . it is gone !" That meant only one thing when Mel Allen was the Voice of the New York Yankees in the 1940s and '50s: a home run. Allen could have been describing a blast by just about anybody in the Yankee lineup . . . Joe DiMaggio, Charlie Keller, Tommy Henrich--they were all hitting them out in those days.
Now Allen has hit a home run of his own. Dove Books on Tape, the audio-book company noted for its cassette abridgments, has issued Allen's reading of David Halberstam's "Summer of '49." The Yankees and the Boston Red Sox were fighting for the pennant in what Halberstam called baseball's final year of innocence, before TV revenues. The audio version, though abridged, is a delight--because of Allen. Most audio-book readers strive for neutral performances. Not Mel. He even laughs out loud. Wonderful.
"Summer of '49" cassette ($14.95) is available at bookstores or through Dove Books on Tape, 12711 Ventura Blvd., Studio City; (818) 762-6662.