Roger Angell Keith Cushman - Essay

Keith Cushman

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Angell is simply the most elegant, stylish, and intelligent baseball writer in the country today. His annual autumn account of the World Series [that appears in the New Yorker] has come to be a major event for me—and on occasion it proves to be better than the World Series. Angell knows that baseball is a game deeply wedded to ritual and tradition, and the perennial smack of horsehide against leather is becoming increasingly difficult to reconcile with inflated schedules, floating franchises, and an American League club called the Texas Rangers. Money has become the name of the national pastime, and a decided elegiac note runs through Angell's expert reporting. The Summer Game collects Angell's New Yorker baseball writings, and the teams parade by—in spring training, in heated pennant races, in the World Series—from the 1962 Amazin' Mets to the 1971 world champion Pirates. Perhaps some would feel that a few of these pieces are a little too ephemeral for republication, but everyone who understands with the author that baseball is a country of the heart will recognize The Summer Game as the treasure it is.

Keith Cushman, in his review of "The Summer Game," in Library Journal (reprinted from Library Journal, April 15, 1972; published by R. R. Bowker Co. (a Xerox company): copyright © 1972 by Xerox Corporation), Vol. 97, No. 8, April 15, 1972, p. 1456.