Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Game Time (Roger Angell)

I used to not divide the year into baseball season and the off-season. Now, when winter drags on in February (when all the holidays are gone and all we're left with is cloudy, gray weather), I have severe baseball withdrawl. But now I've finally figured out how to make it through the off-season (besides contemplating who I'm going to draft for next year's fantasy baseball team): Read about baseball, and specifically, read Roger Angell.

Game Time: A Baseball Companion is a collection of some of Angell's writing from the 1960s to the 2000s. It's a fairly hefty book, but never boring, and always interesting (especially the conversation he has with Ted Williams, which is near the end of the book. Scandalous!).

This is the perfect off-season companion, and one you could return to often. There's Tommy Lasorda, talking about the Big Dodger in the sky, and the debut of the young Julio Franco (currently the oldest active MLB player). There's a great piece on Bob Gibson, and how he may be mainly to blame for the lowering of the mound and the shrinking of the strike zone. There the humble beginnings of the term "walk-off home run," spoken by a player with a knack for an unusual vocabulary. And there's Derek Jeter's fan mail: "Another day, Derek Jeter brought over a letter from his thick daily stack and asked Scott Brosius for help with the handwriting. Then Chris Turner read it, too---there's a lot of interest in Derek's mail. 'I am a sixty-eight-year-old window,' they made out, line by line, 'and I would like you to accompany my eighteen-year-old great-niece to her graduation dance. She is a good person and so are you.'"

Oh, and by the way (this is especially for my dad), I noticed that Angell is wearing a Wooden Boat sweatshirt in his author photo (it took a careful look at the photo to make out the logo but it is indeed Wooden Boat), which is a company that publishes Wooden Boat magazine and also runs Wooden Boat school, of which my dad is a frequent student. So, as if Angell didn't have enough going for him, there's that too.

Next book up: Healing with Whole Foods by Paul Pitchford


Anonymous said...


Wooden Boat !?! Roger Angell? Well that sure is in his favor. Guess I'll have our local Alpine librarian, Robin Maly, track it down for me. Keep up the good work.
Picture on the right. Gray haired man on the left, teacher,Harry Brian, great guy.

Anonymous said...

So ... Maria, are we gearing up for the Little League World Series?

[What better way to spend an otherwise boring baseball month, esp. for sad sad Cubbie fans resigned to another season of battling the Pirates to stay out of last place. Its like the 30's-60's all over again.)

Maria Duncan said...

LLWS regionals started this weekend (and yes, we're watching). Calendar's clear for next weekend, when the actual series starts.