Picks and Pans Review: Late Innings
by Roger Angell
Angell has not lost his eye, ear or, perhaps most important, his enthusiasm for baseball. This collection of his graceful, evocative essays from the New Yorker, spanning the 1977-1981 seasons, shows him at his best, covering not only the 1978 Yankee-Red Sox play-off, the World Series and the 1981 strike, but the odd corners of the sport, where much of its charm and meaning lie. His piece on Bob Gibson, the former St. Louis Cardinal who was a great pitcher but seemed saddled with an aloof personality, is penetrating. His tale of Ron Goble, a struggling minor leaguer stricken with cancer, and the woman who loves him—and loves his passion for baseball—is marvelously touching. And he quotes Bill Veeck, approvingly, in what in these times seems a deceptively simple remark about baseball: "It's meant to be fun, you know." (Simon and Schuster, $17.50)
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