Roger Angell honored with BBWAA’s J.G. Taylor Spink Award

From David Remnick at The New Yorker on December 10, 2013:

Roger Angell is the greatest of all baseball writers. Today, the game has recognized the fact. This July, along with Joe Torre, Bobby Cox, and Tony La Russa, Roger will be celebrated in Cooperstown, New York, the site of the Hall of Fame. He will receive the J. G. Taylor Spink Award, which has previously gone to the likes of Grantland Rice, Red Smith, Ring Lardner, and Damon Runyon. With respect to all the writers in the lifetime lineup card, Roger is the cleanup man. I.M.H.O., anyway. I am not quite sure how the exhibits will look, but I will be happy to see one of Roger’s tweed jackets, a spiral notebook shoved in the pocket, hanging right next to Ruth’s No. 3 and Gehrig’s No. 4.

Not to be peevish, but the award is a teensy bit belated, as there has been heated discussion for years in press-box circles about whether Roger, as a “magazine and book man” (as one voter called him), could fairly stand beside the beat writers, the men and women who attend every game and write up every contest, from the mid-August sleeper in the rain to the Homeric season-ending classics on All Hallows’ Eve. It’s good to see that the guild gave up its perquisites to honor the outlier. The truth is, though, that Roger, who is more accustomed, it is true, to writing on a more capacious deadline, is a versatile player; he can write quickly when the occasion, and the technology, demands it of him.

Read the full article, along with more essays from Roger Angell, here:

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Originally published: December 10, 2013. Last Updated: December 10, 2013.