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???!
I'm stunned that Roger Angell hadn't received that award before. Roger Angell was a senior editor at The New Yorker magazine, and every year would write a recap of the baseball season. It's widely considered some of the most elegant, thoughtful, near-poetic writing about baseball ever -- and some of the best writing, period. His work has been collected in books, and he's been put on a pedestal among baseball writers for 30-40 years. AND...he's 93 years old. Thank goodness he was still around to receive the award. What in the world were they thinking all those decades??
When told of the award, Angell said, "I was surprised to find out how much I secretly hoped this would happen because I was very moved and startled and extremely pleased. And I thought it wouldn't happen because I'm not a member of the Baseball Writers, which is nothing against the wonderful Baseball Writers Association, but I've been hoping to be a member somehow for for many years but it never seemed to be within reach. This brings me closer."
(The BWA limits its membership to writers on daily newspapers, wire services and some Internet sites. However, membership is not a requirement to get this Hall of Fame award.)
He added, "Anyway, I was really pleased and I'm very, very happy. And I'm stunned."
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.