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Game Time: A Baseball Companion

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  334 ratings  ·  35 reviews
Roger Angell has been writing about baseball for more than forty years . . . and for my money he's the best there is at it," says novelist Richard Ford in his introduction to Game Time. Angell's famous explorations of the summer game are built on acute observation and joyful participation, conveyed in a prose style as admired and envied as Ted Williams's swing. Angell on F ...more
Paperback, 398 pages
Published March 15th 2004 by Mariner Books (first published April 2003)
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Average rating 4.09  · 
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Steve Kettmann
Apr 06, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: baseball
OK, I edited this book, in the sense that I worked with Roger on making the selections, came up with the idea in the first place, conceived the organization, and also did the digging in the New Yorker archives to come up with some older material to include in book form for the first time (a favorite of mine the short piece, new for this book, giving three different takes on Pete Rose). But the writing is all Roger Angell and I think for anyone who has never read him, or just wants to dive back i ...more
Daniel Carrol
Sep 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
I bought this primarily to read 'The Web of the Game' Angell's 1981 account of watching Ron Darling and Frank Viola's pitchers duel in the company of 'the old man to my left' who is revealed to be Red Sox legend and hall of famer Smokey Joe Wood. It might be the best piece of sports writing I've ever read. When I narrated some to my partner she really hit on what makes Roger Angell so special - he writes non-fiction like fiction. And it's this ability to create vivid pictures through literary me ...more
Mark Schultz
Apr 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: essays, sports
Game Time: A Baseball Companion, by Roger Angell, 2003. What a great read! Angell’s essays, including a good number that were his annual New Yorker close-of-the-season retrospectives, bring joy, sentiment, and insight in equal quantities. As Richard Ford says in the introduction, Angell’s essays in those years (1962-2002) were the only salve to the baseball fan’s end of the year blues. A wonderful observer, storyteller, and writer, Angell is a true gem of American writing and American sports. Re ...more
Mar 25, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: baseball
Roger Angell writes about baseball from the viewpoint of an intelligent fan sitting in the bleachers. This book is a collection of his baseball writing from The New Yorker Magazine and I successfully stretched the essays over an entire summer. What a pleasure!
Nov 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A friend of mine, versed in literature, mentioned Roger Angell as being the best baseball writer of all time. Angell's book, Game Time, confirmed his genius as a voice for America's pastime. Yes, I'm willing to concede that in the U.S.A. football rules as the most popular sport; nonetheless, baseball reins as the most poetic of sports. And Angell's tight prose affirms as much, along with deft insights not only into the mechanics, feats, and nuances of the grand old game, but he also maps the te ...more
Aaron Kleinheksel
My 1st taste of Roger Angell, on recommendation of Tom Verducci. Roger is widely considered to be one of the all-time greats of baseball writing, and after reading this book I understand why.

This book is a collection of Angell's baseball columns through the years (1962 up to 2002). He is 96 years old as of this review and still writing about baseball to the best of my knowledge. His depth and breadth of game knowledge, as well as his skill in writing about it, seem to have only grown over the ye
Scott Martin
Sep 17, 2021 rated it liked it
This compilation of baseball essays over the course of multiple decades offers insight into one writer’s perspective on the game his loves. From the 1960s to 2002, Angell describes so many different aspects of the game. From Spring Training to the World Series, this compilation covers it all. Some are good, some are not that interesting, but it is a matter of perspective. Still, worth a read for a baseball fan.
David Goetz
Oct 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: criticism
The essays on Bob Gibson and Tim McCarver were the best, along with Richard Ford's intro. Roger Angell is a fantastic baseball writer with felicitous prose, a keen eye, and an irrepressible love for the game. ...more
Jul 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Angell is a beautiful writer who carefully balances baseball's mystique with a healthy awareness of the limits of its significance. ...more
May 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A great collection of baseball stories by one of the very best baseball writers. This is one I would read again!
Feb 01, 2021 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction, sports
2 1/2 stars. Very good writing, but sometimes baseball can be kind of boring to read about. The Bob Gibson piece was probably the highlight of the bunch.
Tim Basuino
Feb 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing

Just reread this, and am inspired to give it an extra star. Angell respects the game's history without really wallowing in what's different, he recognizes that changes have to be made without going over the top about it. Just a centurion who has loved baseball all his life!

I’ve been reading Roger Angell since high school, many of which I’d read more than once. While baseball writing in general has undergone a shift from general storytelling to deeper analysis, this author has the a
Matt Parbs
Sep 05, 2011 rated it it was ok
All anthologies have their problem, especially when it is meant is an umpteenth collection packaged as a greatest hits. An amazing collection of individual essays (even if some are repeats, but in terms of a collection meant to have a natural pace, a narrative, and meant to be read as a whole, the book failed at some level. The Spring training section was way too long, as echoed by Angell's superb ability to set the tone of an article. He astutely pointed out that Spring Training was for writers ...more
May 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
Baseball and good writing go together like a four seam fastball and a sweeping curve ball. No one is better than Roger Angell. Like his stepfather, E.B. White, he can turn a sweet pivot in mid story that makes you see things in an unexpected way. He's a reporter and a fan who never forgets that it's only a game and that the game's the thing. Memory is part of the game. Angell goes back to the days of the Carl Hubbell Giants at the Polo Grounds. The essays were written between 1962 and 2002. My f ...more
May 28, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Any baseball fans
Recommended to Randal by: Roger Cooke
Shelves: nonfiction, baseball
What George Will would be if he could write, or think clearly.
Easily the best of the veteran-baseball-writer-collected-essays subgenre of baseball nonfiction. His long piece on Bob Gibson is almost as good as Gibson's autobiography, Stranger to the Game: the Autobiography of Bob Gibson, which is in turn the best baseball autobiography I have ever read. I have them both as 4.5 star books.
Angell runs a little too nostalgic which holds this back from being 5 stars for me, but he's an astute observe
Jan 08, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Those who would sacrifice bunt.
If you like Baseball this is a must. Roger Angel has witnessed and/or written about baseball since the 30s-40s. His writing is beautiful, expansive, and yet very relaxed-perhaps because he has written mostly for the New Yorker. He's not a chew-em-up and spit-em-out writer like most of the beat baseball writers, and there's not a trace of the smugness of, say, Mike Lupica. In this book, his post career interview with Bob Gibson is a gem. He also has a talent that few baseball writers have--the ab ...more
Tom Gase
Aug 15, 2010 rated it really liked it
Roger Angell is the best writer ever for baseball...period. This book is another gem and good for people that haven't read his other gems like Season Ticket, Late Innings and Five Seasons (although you should read ALL of them if you're a real fan of Angell). Game Time is sort of a best-of collection of stories for about 1/3 of the book, while new material from the 90's and early part of this past decade take up the other two thirds of the book. Great new stories on the Braves and Yankee teams of ...more
May 28, 2008 rated it did not like it
While i love books about the history of baseball, i just could not stand this author's writing style. in my opinion, he does not compare to Roger Kahn. the text was very over written and pompous. this may work for a magazine article or a newspaper story, but became very tiresome by about 1/2 way through the book. i almost never abandon a book midway, but
i just gave up after the 2nd week of falling asleep a page or two along.

Chris Witt
Mar 19, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very solid collection of great columns by Roger Angell. I'm a big Joe Posnanski fan and last Christmas he had posted a list of his all-time favorite sports books. I think I added about 20 of them to my "to read" list and this was one of them.

Highlights for me were the pieces he had done on Bob Gibson and David Cone.

Recommended if you are looking for some baseball reminiscing and enjoy the always-elusive quality sportswriting.
Feb 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
Still good. Disappointing to reread some of the essays, even though they're obviously among Angell's best. But they should have organized these collections is a more orderly way, no?

Even within the collection, it's confusing that the essays aren't even chronological within the subjects.

But oh, well. Terrific.
Agatha Lund
Mar 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: baseball, 2012
Particularly lovely: an old essay about watching the 1981 New Haven NCAA regional game between St. Johns and Yale with Smokey Joe Wood; Frank Viola pitched for the Red Storm and Ron Darling for the Elis. Loved that.
Don LaFountaine
Jan 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Great book for all baseball fans! Roger Angell writes very well, fills his books with so many interesting tidbits about the game, and does it in such a way that you don't want to put the book down! I was a little saddened to have finished it in one day. ...more
Chris S.
Sep 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sports
Excellent, evocative long-form baseball writing. I really enjoy having the ability to pick up a book randomly, and knock out 30 pages of self-contained narrative without having to remember where I left off. "Distance" is one of my favorite articles on an athlete, ever. ...more
May 24, 2007 rated it really liked it
i love roger angell. This is a little slow going, but, you know, so is baseball.
Mar 21, 2008 rated it it was amazing
The master of baseball lit. The perfect mid-winter read.
Jun 01, 2008 rated it did not like it
Basically awful. "Heigh-ho, these Yankees!" Ugh. Give me Joe Posnanski's personal yet analytical sportswriting any day instead of this flowery yet empty fluff. ...more
William Herbst
May 20, 2012 rated it liked it
Some interesting articles and some that seemed dated. Worth a read but I would probably pick and choose which articles to read.
Jul 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: baseball
Angell's pretty essential reading for baseball fans. Highlights here include writings on Bob Gibson, Tim McCarver, and pitcher durability. ...more
Oct 08, 2012 rated it did not like it
I am reminded of someone who talks constantly because they love the sound of their own voice.
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Roger Angell (b. 1920) is a celebrated New Yorker writer and editor. First published in the magazine in 1944, he became a fiction editor and regular contributor in 1956; and remains as a senior editor and staff writer. In addition to seven classic books on baseball, which include The Summer Game (1972), Five Seasons (1977), and Season Ticket (1988), he has written works of fiction, humor, and a me ...more

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