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Long overdue: Roger Angell wins Spink Award

Finally, at the age of 93, Roger Angell is going to have his day at the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Angell was named Tuesday as the 2014 recepient of the J.G. Spink Award, the highest honor for a baseball writer.

The long-time veteran of the New Yorker hardly is a typical on-deadline baseball writer. This marks the first time the Spink has gone to an essayist, if you will, like Angell.

While I detailed earlier the split within the BBWA over whether someone like Angell should win the award over a traditional baseball scribe or columnist (Furman Bisher and Mel Durslag were finalists this year), it would have been a huge oversight for him not to receive this recognition in Cooperstown.

Angell is the baseball writing equivalent of Sandy Koufax, a one-of-a-kind artist on the game. Fortunately, unlike Koufax, Angell’s career has spanned generations.

Angell’s writing blows me away now the same way it did more than 35 years ago when I discovered his work as a young kid who aspired to be a sportswriter. I still have memories of being held captive by his first book, “The Summer Game.” Angell’s writing on baseball truly inspired me, and I’m sure many others too.

New Yorker editor David Remnick did this post upon hearing the news.

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.

Quite right. He belongs in that fraternity.

 

 

 

 

 

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