Growing up, Maury Allen was a diehard Brooklyn Dodgers fan. There is a sad irony, then, in the fact that the long-time sportswriter and author died at age 78 on Sunday, the 59th anniversary of Bobby Thomson's "Shot Heard Round the World," which sent the Giants to the World Series and Allen's beloved Dodgers home.
According to New York Times sports columnist and Allen's long-time friend Ira Berkow, Allen died of lymphoma at his home in Cedar Grove, N.J. He is survived by his wife of 48 years, Janet; a daughter, Jennifer Blazkiewicz; a son, Ted; and four grandchildren.
Though Allen was a Dodgers fan, he covered the Yankees and other teams for the New York Post for 27 years, from 1961-1988. After leaving the Post, Allen wrote for The Journal News, the newspaper with editions in New York's Westchester, Rockland and Putnam counties as well as for the website Thecolumnists.com.
Allen was also known for his prolific book writing. Allen penned 38 different sports titles over the course of his career, including biographies of baseball stars in New York, such as Jackie Robinson, Casey Stengel, Roger Maris, Ron Guidry, Reggie Jackson, Billy Martin, Joe DiMaggio and Dixie Walker. He also wrote general books about baseball, including two that were collections of memories of Mickey Mantle.
Allen is easily recognizable to baseball fans as a frequent contributor to television documentaries and as Oscar Madison's colleague in the movie version of "The Odd Couple" in 1968. Allen also appeared frequently on "Yankeeography" episodes on the YES network.
Allen, born in May 1932 in Brooklyn, attended James Madison High School and City College, where he wrote for the school's paper. After a stint in the Army, during which he was stationed in Japan and South Korea and wrote for The Pacific Stars and Stripes, he was hired by Sports Illustrated in 1959, where he worked for two years before joining the New York Post staff.
Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLB.com and writes a blog, B3. Follow @JonathanMayoB3 on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.