Friday, June 24, 2022

Rooting Interests: A Roger Angell Appreciation


I can be assured I’ve been reading Roger Angell for nearly 45 years, as my copy of his Five Seasons, is inscribed 1978 and “Merry Christmas” from family friends. Now the book’s dust cover is ragged and ripped, and when I open it, it seems the pages are about to let loose from their binding. But I had to turn to it again, as Angell passed away May 20 at the astounding age of 101.

I’m not alone in admitting that Angell is no doubt one of the reasons I became a writer—FanGraphs’ Jay Jaffe insightfully titled his moving tribute to him “Your Favorite Baseball Writer’s Favorite Baseball Writer.” But what a wonderful door opening into a writer’s world Angell provided—the elegance of his prose, his adult wit, his gimlet-eyed observational skills. He could regularly attest, in long-form New Yorker journalism collected every five years into books, his abiding love for a game I also adored, but one that awkward and gawky me would never be much good at it, so I needed another way in. Words were that way.

Care to read the rest then do so at The California Review of Books.

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