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Friday, May 20, 2022

Roger Angell, Who Wrote About Baseball With Passion, Dies at 101

Roger Angell, the elegant and thoughtful baseball writer who was widely considered among the best America has produced, died on Friday at his home in Manhattan. He was 101.

The cause was congestive heart failure, his wife, Margaret Moorman, said.

Mr. Angell’s voice was original because he wrote more like a fan than a sports journalist, loading his articles with inventive imagery.

The Boston Red Sox catcher Carlton Fisk came out of his crouch, Mr. Angell wrote, like “an aluminum extension ladder stretching for the house eaves.” The Baltimore Oriole relief pitcher Dick Hall pitched “with an awkward, sidewise motion that suggests a man feeling under his bed for a lost collar stud.” Mr. Angell (pronounced angel) described Willie Mays chasing down a ball hit to deep center field as “running so hard and so far that the ball itself seems to stop in the air and wait for him.”

The baseball season didn’t seem complete until, as he did late each fall, Mr. Angell wrapped up its multiple meanings in a long New Yorker article. Many of his pieces were collected in books, among them “Late Innings” (1982) and “Once More Around the Park” (1991).

But he wrote not just about teams and the games they played. He also considered what it meant to be a fan.

“It is foolish and childish, on the face of it, to affiliate ourselves with anything so insignificant and patently contrived and commercially exploitative as a professional sports team,” he wrote in his book “Five Seasons” (1977). “What is left out of this calculation, it seems to me, is the business of caring — caring deeply and passionately, really caring — which is a capacity or an emotion that has almost gone out of our lives.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 20, 2022 at 05:00 PM | 58 comment(s)
  Beats: obituaries, roger angell, sportswriters

 

 

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