Back in January, I wrote that when the Baseball Hall of Fame announced its new inductees, I was thrilled. I was happy to see Greg Maddux named -- who began his career with the Cubs (who idiotically traded him, though he returned later...), but that was expected. But the biggest joy was Roger Angell, who was totally unexpected.
Angell is a sportswriter (which is somewhat like saying Shakespeare tells stories) for the New Yorker and received the J.G. Taylor Spink Award. Among other things, I wrote --
Why it stood out for me is a simple question -- What took them so long???!
It's foolish that it took the Hall of Fame this long or that it even has that "daily" rule. They've long-since changed their rules for ballplayers themselves, having inducted members of the old Negro Leagues, and often changes the requirements for the Veterans Committee. To have excluded sportswriters because they didn't write daily?? Well, at least they've now had the belated wisdom to let in Roger Angell.
The main Hall of Fame ceremonies are today, and will be broadcast on the MLB Network. A pre-show starts at 9 AM West Coast time, with the inductions beginning at 10:30 AM. Angell, though, was inducted the day before. One thing I learned, which for some reason I'm shocked I never knew, is that his step-father was the legendary writer E.B. White!
Here is an excerpt of Roger Angell's Hall of Fame induction speech. Alas, for reasons known only to the Hall of Fame Gods, it's only just two minutes of it, but after all this time, that's plenty enough.
Just to round things out a bit, here's another five minutes of video. It's from after the induction itself, and is part of the Q&A with Angell and fellow Ford Frick Award winner Eric Nadel (for broadcast media) about their experiences at Cooperstown.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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