Pitchers, like poets, are born not made. -Cy Young

Yes, the NBA championship has yet to be settled, the Stanley Cup has yet to be presented, and the Charlottesville area is enjoying the huge success of the Men’s Lacrosse team – now NCAA champs. But for me this time of the year is baseball time so it’s great fun to enjoy the success of UVa’s baseball team and follow their path to a probable championship.

Being from the Pittsburgh area, I have followed Pittsburgh athletic teams closely throughout my life.  The Pirates were the first to receive my adoration during their 1960 run for the world championship, and the Bucs did win it all by beating the New York Yankees of Michey Mantle, Roger Maris and Yogi Berra.  YES!  Beatmbucs!  Now the Pirates have fallen on hard times so it is difficult to sustain the baseball fever in P-burg.  So I turn to writers like Roger Angell for my baseball fix.

Roger Angell is a fantastic writer in any genre.  He has been an editor and writer for the “New Yorker” for 67 years, and much of his writing has been on baseball.  He has been called the Poet Laureate of Baseball, a term he does not like. According to Wikipedia: “In a review of Once More Around the Park for the Journal of Sport History, Richard C. Crepeau wrote that “Gone for Good,” (Angell’s) essay on the career of Steve Blass, “may be the best piece that anyone has ever written on baseball or any other sport.” (And Steve Blass was Pirate!!)  See Steve Kettmann’s article from “Goodreads” if you want some good details on Roger Angell and his writing.

My favorite Angell read is his autobiography, “Let me Finish,” published in 2006.  He is the stepson of E. B. White, and many of the memorable parts are about his relationship with his stepfather and of the White home in North Brooklin, Maine.  He grew up among writers and has carried the tradition on quite well.

Other Angell books in the Jefferson-Madison Regional Library collections:

Five Seasons: a Baseball Companion

Game Time: a Baseball Companion

Late Innings: a Baseball Companion

Nothing but You: Love Stories from the New Yorker

Once More around the Park: a Baseball Reader

Season Ticket: a Baseball Companion

Other acclaimed baseball reads:

Al Stump’s Cobb: a Biography

Leigh Montville’s Ted William: the Biography of an American Hero

John Helyar’s The Lords of the Realm: the Real Story of Baseball

~ The Reluctant Blogger

3 thoughts on “Pitchers, like poets, are born not made. -Cy Young

  1. Reluctant Blogger-
    Much to my surprise I turned on the television recently and learned that the Bucs are actually at .500 and not unbelievably terrible this season. What a world we live in!
    2 other things-
    In the 1993 film A Bronx Tale, the young kid utters to Sonny an immortal line that STILL fills me with PGH pride every time I hear it: “Bill Mazeroski, I hate him. He made the Mick cry”

    And I would heartily recommend Michael Lewis’s classic “Moneyball,” which JMRL has.

    Other than that:
    Baseball…bah humbug 🙂
    – DJS

  2. If the Pirates started winning, I’d be happy for the amazing amount of diehard fans that they still have in the ‘Burgh after these past 2 embarrassing decades worth of futility. I, personally, think baseball is boring, but I do respect, acknowledge and occasionally enjoy the rich literature that has sprung up around it.
    Hope you are having a nice summer!

    -DJS

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