© 2024 Connecticut Public

FCC Public Inspection Files:
WEDH · WEDN · WEDW · WEDY · WNPR
WPKT · WRLI-FM · WEDW-FM · Public Files Contact
ATSC 3.0 FAQ
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

For This Baseball Season, Roger Angell Has Just The 'Ticket'

"Most of us fans fall in love with baseball when we are children," writes Roger Angell. At any age, though, the ballgame is better with a friendly and knowledgeable companion. I can't think of a better one than Angell.

Now 94, he has written about baseball for over half a century, beginning when the New Yorker magazine sent him to spring training in 1962.

"I have covered this beat in haphazard fashion, following my own inclinations and interests," he writes in Season Ticket about the game in the mid-'80s.

In this book he takes us back to 1985, when the Kansas City Royals beat the St. Louis Cardinals (a rematch is possible this fall, as the Cardinals face the San Francisco Giants for the National League pennant). He covers the era's stars, from George Brett to Darryl Strawberry to Roger Clemens, but he pays special attention to the oddballs, like Dan Quisenberry, the Royals' late, great submarine pitcher. Quisenberry's work on the mound, Angell writes, "was funny-looking and profoundly undramatic, and he went about it like a man sweeping out a kitchen."

While basketball is quick and beautiful, and football a show of force, baseball is quieter, slower and, Angell points out, somehow sadder.

"There is more losing than winning in our sport," Angell writes, and "a fan's best defense against inexorable heartbreak is probably to learn more about how the game is really played."

"Baseball is not life itself, although the resemblance keeps coming up," he says. It's impossible to ignore, as we fans grow older, how its long season traces an arc like a lifetime, condensed.

"Midsummer baseball feels as if it would last forever," Angell observes; "late-season baseball becomes quicker and terser, as if sensing its coming end."

But sometimes, he goes on, "if we are lucky, it explodes into thrilling terminal colors, leaving bright pictures in memory to carry us through the miserable months to come."

Kate Tuttle is a columnist for the Boston Globe.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Kate Tuttle

Stand up for civility

This news story is funded in large part by Connecticut Public’s Members — listeners, viewers, and readers like you who value fact-based journalism and trustworthy information.

We hope their support inspires you to donate so that we can continue telling stories that inform, educate, and inspire you and your neighbors. As a community-supported public media service, Connecticut Public has relied on donor support for more than 50 years.

Your donation today will allow us to continue this work on your behalf. Give today at any amount and join the 50,000 members who are building a better—and more civil—Connecticut to live, work, and play.

Related Content