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Game Time: A Baseball Companion Paperback – Bargain Price, March 15, 2004

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Mariner Books (March 15, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0156013878
  • ASIN: B0046LUFS6
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.9 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,149,215 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews Review

In Game Time, Roger Angell’s essays illuminate baseball’s heart and history in careful prose that New Yorker readers have grown to anticipate each spring. The collection spans the forty-plus years of Angell’s baseball writing career and includes many of his favorite pieces as well as never-before-published material.

Rather than stringing the selections together chronologically, the book's editor, Steve Kettmann, groups them by the three seasons of the game—spring, summer, fall. The structure works well to expose the breadth and depth of Angell’s writing across the years. As Richard Ford promises in the introduction, "It is by getting those. . . baseball essentials (strategies, nuances, protocols) down onto the page, and cementing the hard foundation without which sporstswriting can’t earn your time away from the game itself, that Angell has made his bones."

The downside of this approach, however, is that some selections feel dated or misplaced for readers who did not live through the seasons in question. Many of the rookies scouted or players traded have long since faded into the obscurity. And for essays like "Distance," which profiles pitcher Bob Gibson, placement in "Summer" seems forced, the piece beginning as it does with recollection of Gibson’s seventeen strikeout record set in the 1968 World Series.

But these are faults to be expected in a collection that represent the vastness of Angell’s contribution to baseball. In Angell, baseball is blessed to have found its perfect fan: literate, humble, and always eager for spring.--Patrick O’Kelley --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Baseball, a linear game with undulating peaks and valleys, has always attracted more writers than other sports, and of those many writers few have captured the essence of the game better than Angell. This collection of new and previously published writings edited by sports writer Kettmann is a testament to Angell's unquestioned writing skills and love of the game. Chronicling unlikely people and places-a pitcher uneasy in his retirement, a struggling former star, Fenway Park from the bowels of the right-field grandstand, the faceless scout-Angell often eschews the stories in the glare of the spotlight to examine the core values of the national pastime. Like a switch hitter, he deftly commands poetic descriptions (describing Dan Quisenberry's delivery: "a swallowlike, harmless-looking thing that rose abruptly... then changed its mind") and insightful analysis (on records being broken: "this erosion of the game's most famous fixed numbers... makes baseball statistics seem alive and urgent") to create essays that rise and fall like the very action on the field. Unlike many baseball writers who remember watching the likes of Lou Gehrig play at the Polo Grounds, Angell is able to convey his love for the game of yesteryear while still appreciating the stars, achievements and intricacies of the modern game. He manages all of this by not hiding his passion for the sport under the guise of journalistic detachment. On the contrary, he wears his heart on his sleeve, rooting his way through this collection of poignant and personal slices of Americana.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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See all 13 customer reviews
It is like a Godiva chocolate bar.
Bill Emblom
Those of us who have read all of his earlier baseball books and wait in anticipation of his next article can't help but feel taken by this.
Randy Keehn
Roger Angell has been writing essays in The New Yorker since 1960 and originally was a fiction essayist extraordinaire.
Richard C. Geschke

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Bill Emblom on April 1, 2003
Format: Hardcover
If you are familiar with past baseball books of Roger Angell you know you are in for another treat with his latest offering. Part of the book includes passages from past books, but, at least to me, it doesn't detract from this book at all. A good part of the book covers recent playoffs and World Series including 2002 and if you followed the games during the past several years, these parts of the book will have additional meaning to you. A lengthy section on former Cardinals' fireballer Bob Gibson and a visit with Smokey Joe Wood while viewing a college game between Yale and St. Johns with Ron Darling and Frank Viola matching up against one another are included as is a section on broadcaster Tim McCarver "There's a lahn drahve!", and another on a scouting mission with California Angels scout Ray Scarborough. Some of these offerings go back to the early 1960's until through the year 2002. In describing playoff and World Series games, Angell doesn't merely recite game facts as to who got hits and scored runs. He has a knack for making the reader feel he is there and tells the story with colorful prose. Here are a few examples: "The hankie hordes were in full cry at the Metrodome, where the World Series began." "We repaired to Milwaukee, where, on a cold and blustery evening in the old steel-post park, County Stadium, Willie McGee staged his party." Regarding Dennis Eckersley: "His eyes burning like flashlights as he spoke." "Luis Sojo, a Venezuelan, is thirty-four but looks as if he'd put on a much older guy's body that morning by mistake.Read more ›
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By BluesDuke on June 2, 2003
Format: Hardcover
The only reason I took off a star is because...well, I have bathed in the warm waters of Roger Angell's baseball chronicling since the publication of his first such anthology, "The Summer Game," and I have bought every last one of the successor books ("Five Seasons," "Late Innings," "Season Ticket," and "Once More Around The Park"), and I really didn't need to see a lot of the essays contained in this volume all over again. Even if I think "Distance" is the absolute best and most humane essay you'll ever read about Bob Gibson, please: A third anthologising (it debuted in "Late Innings" and was recycled in "Once More Around The Park") was as excessive as some would consider a stolen base in the eighth inning when the thief's team was on the winning side of a 12-1 blowout.
But if you have never before approached even the edge of those waters, this is the book with which you want to begin; the editing and arranging of the material, appropriately enough into seasonal sections, is even better than "Once More Around The Park's" had been. Don't let my harrumphing about over-repetition of some choice essays deter you (I certainly didn't let it keep me from adding this to my library). If you are a newcomer to Mr. Angell's virtuosity (and if you are a newcomer, you should probably ask yourself where you've been all your life), from the loveliest book of baseball letters of the year. Peter Golenbock, in his oral history of the Boston Red Sox, called Mr. Angell "baseball's Homer," but Golenbock has it backward. With apologies to no one, Homer shall have to settle for having been ancient Greece's Roger Angell.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Trevor Seigler on January 7, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I picked this up about a week ago, and finished it just this afternoon. Inbetween that time, and between the covers of this great book, I found myself caught up in the exhiliration of victory, the agony of defeat, and a variety of emotions inbetween. Roger Angell is to baseball what Shakespeare was to theatre: he captures the wide spectrum of players and coaches, fans and managers, rookies and old pros, that have made baseball a fascinating sport to follow.
Individual pieces that stick out for me are the David Cone profile, the scout, Smokey Joe Wood, and many others that make this book a wonderous journey. This is for the diehard fans, to be sure, but baseball novices will also enjoy some of the many thoughtful and well-written pieces contained here. You will finish this with a deeper appreciation of baseball itself (despite its bloated state now, Angell makes no apologies for his continued interest long after other, more traditional fans have thrown up their hands in disgust. There is just as much joy in describing the Angels-Giants match-up in '02 as there is in memorializing Teddy Ballgame Williams), and Angell's work here is truly some of the finest sports reporting I've ever read. As stated in the introduction essay, Angell's work appeared mainly in the "New Yorker", where he could have time to construct his thoughts without the threat of a nearer deadline. Thus, his writing here does service to the majesty of the events described.
For the baseball fan in all of us, Roger Angell's work is truly a gift and a joy to read. I highly recommend this work. However cynical you may be about the more recent baseball world, you will enjoy this book.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Alexander T. Fraser on August 31, 2006
Format: Paperback
Roger Angell is a marvellous writer on baseball. Warm, human and involving he never fogets that it is just a sport that he is writing on and no matter how much he (or we) might love it there are plenty of more important issues going on in life. At his best his writing can be gripping ( A's v Mets 1973), thrilling ( Reds v Red Sox 1975) insightful (essays on Bob Gibson and David Cone) and life affirming ( the essay on the 1979 Pittsburgh Pirates is a particular favourite of mine). His enjoyment of life is clear and his preference for the Reggie Jackson Yankees over the Steve Garvey Dodgers is telling in this regard. Sadly this book is a mix of old and new - I would have loved a whole book of new material. Some of the new stuff is excellent - it was good to be reminded of the 1996 series again and theauthor's frustration with Pete Rose is palpable - but I think it loses a little in comparison with some of the older material. Also, the format is disconcerting: Angell's work benefits from the slow burn of the chronological build up from pre season hope to World Series excitement. The book is an enjoyable read but "5 seasons" is the best place to start with this masterful writer.
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