The "dean" of baseball writing was named recipient of the Baseball Hall of Fame's J.G. Taylor Spink Award for “meritorious contributions to baseball writing.” Frankly, I'm amazed this just happened now. Given his stature, I would think he'd have been elected years ago.
Angell, who turned 93 in September, has been the main reason I even glance at The New Yorker. Him and the cartoons. His work has fallen off in terms of volume lately, although he has been doing the occasional blog entry. Just about any of his collections are solid gold choices, although the title of his 2006 memoir, Let Me Finish, makes me sad and contemplative for some reason. Is it a plea to God (or the substitute of your choice) to allow one more time, presumably to complete his life's work; or merely telling someone not to interrupt a story?
The Summer Game was one of my 501 Baseball Books paired with Thomas Boswell's Why Time Begins on Opening Day in the chapter on "Pop Culture," but you could substitute just about any of his other collections and the idea would remain the same.
I would love to had a Bookshelf podcast with him, but, frankly, am intimidated by the prospect. From what I've heard he doesn't suffer fools gladly, which pretty much eliminates me from the conversation. If you ever do read this, Mr. Angell, I am at your disposal.
|Roger Angell, as envisioned by David Levine|