LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – For years, baseball fans savored Roger Angell’s long articles in The New Yorker. They couldn’t wait to buy collections of the articles in books.
Now, the enjoyment of fans has been repaid to the 93-year-old Angell, who was named the winner of the G. Taylor Spink Award by the Baseball Writers on Tuesday. He’ll enter the Hall of Fame this July.
Angell will be joined by Texas Rangers’ broadcaster Eric Nadel, who was named the winner of the Ford Frick Award.
Nadel, 62, has worked on Rangers’ broadcasts since 1979.
Angell’s award is remarkable because he’s the first winner of the award not to be a member of the Baseball Writers Association. He won the George Polk Award for commentary in 1980 and was for many years the chief fiction editor of The New Yorker. He is the stepson of the legendary essayist E.B. White.
He began writing about baseball in 1962, the first year of the New York Mets, and wrote seven books on baseball including one with pitcher David Cone. His first one, “The Summer Game,” published in 1972, was a bestseller.
"I was surprised to find out how much secretly I had hoped this would happen because I was very moved, startled and extremely pleased. I thought it would never happen because I'm not a member of the [BBWAA]. I'm very, very happy and I'm stunned. Old friends and idols have won this award. It's a great honor," Angell said in a conference call.
Angell and Nadel join Bobby Cox, Tony LaRussa and Joe Torre, who were elected by the Veterans Committee on Monday. The Baseball Writers will announce the results of their voting on Jan. 8.