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Friday, September 18, 2020

Roger Angell Turns One Hundred

Above all, Roger Angell is best known as the bard of baseball; he was honored by the Baseball Hall of Fame, in Cooperstown, in 2014—alongside his pal and source, Joe Torre. He had a long career in the press box. Around the time the Beatles were still playing the Cavern Club, Roger set off for Florida to cover his first spring training. In those days, the players and managers were willing to spend hours explaining the intricacies of the game to a sympathetic listener. And that is what Roger did—at Fenway and Shea, in the Bronx and Chavez Ravine: he listened. And Roger, a person as complicated as any other, created a fan’s voice, a joyous voice, full of exclamation and wonder. He has always been an ace describer who could portray the great Red Sox starter Luis Tiant “wheeling and rotating on the mound like a figure in a Bavarian clock tower.” One thing seems almost unfair: as we celebrate our friend this week, we, his readers, get the best gifts. And some of the very best—some of the best of Roger Angell—is right here.


RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 18, 2020 at 03:42 PM | 12 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: roger angell

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   1. . . . . . . Posted: September 19, 2020 at 10:20 AM (#5977655)
He also wrote one of his best works - an essay on growing old — at 93! Extraordinary writer and a living link to a different world.
   2. Astroenteritis Posted: September 19, 2020 at 11:08 AM (#5977658)
On the day Roger Angell was born, September 19, 1920...

-Pie Traynor played SS for Pittsburgh and the opposing Dodgers featured Zack Wheat in LF
-Eddie Collins went 2-for-4 for the White Sox, Shoeless Joe Jackson went 3-for-4
-Ty Cobb went 1-for-7 as the Tigers swept a DH from Washington
-Ross Youngs was 3-for-4 as the NY Giants beat Cincinnati 7-6 in 11 innings
-The St. Louis Browns beat the Yankees 6-1. Babe Ruth was 0-for-3. So was Wally Pipp. George Sisler went 2-for-4 for the Browns to raise his average to .403 (He ended the season at .407)

   3. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: September 19, 2020 at 11:13 AM (#5977659)
On the day Roger Angell was born, September 19, 1920...
Total relief pitchers used across all MLB games: 7.
   4. phredbird Posted: September 19, 2020 at 12:28 PM (#5977669)

somewhere in his books he mentions in his youth having encountered jacob ruppert or maybe colonel huston walking along the street. i guess that could happen if you lived in manhattan in the 20s.

i think he also wrote somewhere that he witnessed ruth and gehrig hitting consecutive home runs, but i'm not sure about that. he certainly saw them play numerous times ...

quite a life.
   5. Rally Posted: September 19, 2020 at 02:24 PM (#5977674)
Total relievers used in the 2nd game of a 7 inning doubleheader yesterday: 10
   6. Howie Menckel Posted: September 19, 2020 at 03:48 PM (#5977678)
(Wood broke into MLB in 1908, appearing in 6 games with the Red Sox and no doubt learning a few tricks from teammate and 21-game winner Cy Young - who was 41. Young's MLB debut was 130 years ago, with the Cleveland Spiders.)

Web of The Game

Our featured story today is “The Web of the Game,” from the issue of July 20, 1981. In the piece, Angell recounts a game between Yale University and St. John’s, which featured two future major-league stars, pitchers Ron Darling and Frank Viola.

In the stands with Angell was Smokey Joe Wood, a former Yale coach and a celebrated pitcher with the 1912 world-champion Boston Red Sox. Angell’s piece moves back and forth between the contest being played on the field and Wood’s recollections of such immortals as Walter Johnson and Tris Speaker, offering a sense — as Angell’s entire oeuvre does — of “the fabric of baseball.” In this passage, Angell describes the escalating tension of the late innings of the scoreless game, in which Darling was pitching a no-hitter:

The two pitchers held us — each as intent and calm and purposeful as the other. Ron Darling never deviating from the purity of his stylish body-lean and leg-crook and his riding, down-thrusting delivery, poured fastballs through the diminishing daylight. He looked as fast as ever now, or faster, and in both the ninth and tenth he dismissed the side in order and with four more strikeouts.

Viola was dominant in his own fashion, also setting down the Yale hitters, one, two, three, in the ninth and tenth, with a handful of pitches. His rhythm — the constant variety of speeds and location on his pitches — had the enemy batters leaning and swaying with his motion, and, as antistrophe, was almost as exciting to watch as Darling’s flare and flame.

With two out in the top of the eleventh, a St. John’s batter nudged a soft little roller up the first-base line — such an easy, waiting, schoolboy sort of chance that the Yale first baseman, O’Connor, allowed the ball to carom off his mitt: a miserable little butchery, except that the second baseman, seeing his pitcher sprinting for the bag, now snatched up the ball and flipped it toward him almost despairingly. Darling took the toss while diving full-length at the bag and, rolling in the dirt, beat the runner by a hair.

“Oh, my!” said Joe Wood. “Oh, my, oh, my!”
   7. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: September 20, 2020 at 09:59 AM (#5977750)
September 19, 1920

Since this was a Sunday, I assumed there were pro football games that day, too, but the AFPA (now NFL)'s first season wouldn't begin for another two weeks, on October 3. (The college season wouldn't begin until that Thursday, the 23rd; the NHL season began three days before Christmas.)
   8. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: September 20, 2020 at 11:52 AM (#5977758)
Good: Angell has lived to be 100

Bad: Angell had to experience 2020.
   9. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: September 20, 2020 at 12:00 PM (#5977760)
Good: Angell has lived to be 100

Bad: Angell had to experience 2020.

I think I'd have settled for 99.
   10. baxter Posted: September 20, 2020 at 05:03 PM (#5977778)
99 1/2 won't do, got to be a hundred
   11. Mefisto Posted: September 20, 2020 at 05:52 PM (#5977783)
True. My grandmother made it to 99 3/4. Kinda ruined the big party we had planned.
   12. AndrewJ Posted: September 21, 2020 at 08:31 AM (#5977867)
Speaking of anticlimaxes, there was this lady, who was 19 when 1899 turned to 1900 -- and died 48 hours before 1999 gave way to 2000.

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