"The Summer Game," Roger Angell's first book on the sport, changed baseball writing forever. Thoughtful, funny, appreciative of the elegance of the game and the passions invested by players and fans, it goes beyond the usual sports reporter's beat to examine baseball's complex place in our American psyche.
Between the miseries of the 1962 expansion Mets and a classic 1971 World Series between the Pirates and the Orioles, Angell finds baseball in the 1960s as a game in transition--marked by league expansion, uprooted franchises, the growing hegemony of television, the dominance of pitchers, uneasy relations between players and owners, and mounting competition from other sports for the fans' dollars.
Willie Mays, Roberto Clemente, Brooks Robinson, Bob Gibson, Sandy Koufax, Carl Yastrzemski, Tom Seaver, Jim Palmer, and Casey Stengel are seen here with fresh clarity and pleasure. Here is California baseball in full flower, the once-mighty Yankees in collapse, baseball in French (in Montreal), indoor baseball (at the Astrodome), and sweet spring baseball (in Florida)--as Angell observes, "Always, it seems, there is something more to be discovered about this game."