Longtime New Yorker writer Roger Angell dead at 101

Writer Roger Angell, whose elegant baseball prose graced the pages of The New Yorker for more than a half-century, has died at 101, according to his family.

Angell, already an accomplished writer when he was sent to spring training in 1962 to cover baseball for the first time, brought a fan’s perspective to the genre and became one of the game’s most respected essayists.

Roger Angell during an interview at his office at the New Yorker magazine.
AP

He received the JG Taylor Spink career excellence award from in 2014, making him the first writer to receive the honor without having belonged to the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.

Into his final years, Angell continued to visit ballparks. At spring training in 2019 he recounted to The Post watching Babe Ruth play for the Yankees in 1930.

Roger Angell after receiving the JG Taylor Spink Award during a ceremony at Doubleday Field at the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2014.
Roger Angell after receiving the JG Taylor Spink Award during a ceremony at Doubleday Field at the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2014.
AP

Angell’s baseball writings included the books “Late Innings” and “Once More Around the Park.”

His first byline in The New Yorker appeared in 1944, and he also was fiction editor in a career of 70-plus years. His mother, Katharine, was the first fiction editor for the magazine and his stepfather was the famed author EB White, who wrote for The New Yorker. His father, Ernest, was an attorney who became head of the American Civil Liberties Union.

“Baseball is not life itself, although the resemblance keeps coming up,” Angell wrote in “La Vida,” a 1987 essay (as reprinted by ESPN). “It’s probably a good idea to keep the two sorted out, but old fans, if they’re anything like me, can’t help noticing how cunningly our game replicates a larger schedule, with its beguiling April optimism; the cheerful roughhouse of June; the grinding, serious, unending (surely) business of midsummer; the September settling of accounts … and then the abrupt running-down of autumn, when we wish for — almost demand — a prolonged and glittering final adventure just before the curtain.”

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