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GAME TIME
ROGER ANGELL

GAME TIME by Roger Angell
11 reviews (2003) (192p)
TIME Magazine Best Nonfiction Books

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Book Description
"Roger Angell has been writing about baseball for more than forty years . . . and for my money he's the best there is at it," says novelist Richard Ford in his introduction to Game Time. Angell's famous explorations of the summer game are built on acute observation and joyful participation, conveyed in a prose style as admired and envied as Ted Williams's swing. Angell on Fenway Park in September, on Bob Gibson brooding in retirement, on Tom Seaver in mid-windup, on the abysmal early and recent Mets, on a scout at work in back-country Kentucky, on Pete Rose and Willie Mays and Pedro Martinez, on the astounding Barry Bonds at Pac Bell Park, and more, carry us through the arc of the season with refreshed understanding and pleasure. This new selection represents Angell's best writings, from spring training in 1962 to the explosive World Series of 2002, with many chapters not previously seen in book form.


Amazon.com Review
In Game Time, Roger Angell's essays illuminate baseball's heart and history in careful prose that New Yorker readers have grown to anticipate each spring. The collection spans the forty-plus years of Angell's baseball writing career and includes many of his favorite pieces as well as never-before-published material.

Rather than stringing the selections together chronologically, the book's editor, Steve Kettmann, groups them by the three seasons of the game—spring, summer, fall. The structure works well to expose the breadth and depth of Angell's writing across the years. As Richard Ford promises in the introduction, "It is by getting those. . . baseball essentials (strategies, nuances, protocols) down onto the page, and cementing the hard foundation without which sporstswriting can't earn your time away from the game itself, that Angell has made his bones."

The downside of this approach, however, is that some selections feel dated or misplaced for readers who did not live through the seasons in question. Many of the rookies scouted or players traded have long since faded into the obscurity. And for essays like "Distance," which profiles pitcher Bob Gibson, placement in "Summer" seems forced, the piece beginning as it does with recollection of Gibson's seventeen strikeout record set in the 1968 World Series.

But these are faults to be expected in a collection that represent the vastness of Angell's contribution to baseball. In Angell, baseball is blessed to have found its perfect fan: literate, humble, and always eager for spring.--Patrick O'Kelley


Roger Angell Award Stats
Major Prize* Nominations 0  
Unique Books Nominated for a Major Prize* 0  
Pulitzer Prize Wins 0  
Pulitzer Prize Nominations 0  
National Book Critics Circle Award Wins 0  
National Book Critics Circle Award Nominations 0  
National Book Award Wins 0  
National Book Award Nominations 0  
Man Booker Prize Wins 0  
Man Booker Prize Nominations 0  
PEN/Faulkner Award Wins 0  
PEN/Faulkner Award Nominations 0  

*Major Prize = Pulitzer Prize, National Book Critics Circle Award, National Book Award, Man Booker Prize, and PEN/Faulkner Award

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