July 26, 2014

Roger Angell and the Baseball Hall of Fame

The great baseball writer Roger Angell is the recipient of the 2014 J.G. Taylor Spink Award, the first time a non-BBWAA member has been given the award.  Angell will be presented the award at the Baseball Hall of Fame at Cooperstown, during the induction weekend July 25 - 28, 2014.

Angell is, for my money, the best writer about baseball.  His accounts of the game are from a fan's perspective, rather than the typical listing of the game's dramatic moments. Indeed, many of his greatest observations are about the fans and their experiences.  One such essay is "The Interior Stadium"; required reading for anyone interested in sports and people's responses to the games.

Much of Angell's writing was published by his employer, the New Yorker, who have recently compiled two summaries of his writing.  The first was offered by David Remmick, whose piece "Roger Angell Heads to Cooperstown" was published when the Spink award was announced in December 2013 and has links to a variety of Angell's best. More recently, "Hall of Fame Weekend: Roger Angell's Baseball Writing" (by Sky Dylan-Robbins) provides a different list of great essays.

One of the best things the New Yorker has made available is Angell's scorecard for Game 6 of the 2011 World Series, when the Cardinals were down to their final strike twice, but managed to come back and win the game (and then, in an anti-climactic game 7, the Series).

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