The Summer Game

by Roger Angell
Category: "Sports"
Year of Publication:1972
Date Read:05/25/1997
Notes:Roger Angell has witnessed many of the great and small events in the past 10 (1962-1972) years of baseball. These writings, which first appeared in The New Yorker, provide a unique record of this turbulent decade, from the rise of California baseball and the comical and agonizing sufferings of the early Mets to the fall of the Yankee empire and the repeated triumphs of the Dodgers, Cardinals, and Orioles.
My Rating: 9

Reviews for The Summer Game

Review - Summer Game, The

I first read this book twenty years ago, when the events it describes were recent enough to seem recent. This time my memory of the baseball seasons from 1962-1971 were much fainter, but the book was every bit as enjoyable. Baseball has always been my favorite sport, and Angell appreciates it at a much deeper level than even I do. I can only envy his writing. Here are some examples:

He [Choo Choo Coleman of the '62 Mets] is quick on the base paths, but this is an attribute about as essential for catchers as neat handwriting.

[Dave McNally of the '66 Orioles] walked the bases full, with one out, and then disappeared, having thrown sixty-three pitches, more or less in the style of a wedding guest heaving rice ...

Dick Hall
[of the '70 Orioles] is six feet six and one-half inches tall and forty years old, and he pitches with an awkward, sideways motion that suggests a man feeling under his bed for a lost collar stud.

Unfortunately, neither team
[the '71 Dodgers and Giants] could do better than split the remaining fourteen games of its schedule, and what had become a pennant race suggested thereafter nothing so much as two men walking side by side down an up escalator.

As you would expect from a New Yorker columnist, Angell's coverage is slanted toward East Coast teams, particularly those from New York, but he covers the World Series from 1962-1971 with a chapter on each and includes scattered chapters on spring training and mid-season games. The book, like the game of baseball, is one I found exciting and relaxing at the same time.
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