Roger Angell has died. He has a very strong claim to be the greatest baseball writer in history. I loved his late life writing in The New Yorker so much. You can’t be too sad when someone lives to be 101, especially when they were still writing until just a couple of years ago. I hope he went out watching some baseball. RIP.
[PC]: 40 years ago, when Angell was the fiction editor for the New Yorker, I sent the magazine a short story about Shoeless Joe Jackson. To be clear the submission wasn’t addressed to him; I don’t think I even knew he was in that job at the time, although I had read a couple of his books already.
I got a handwritten note from him about the story, encouraging me to keep working on my writing. At that moment he was the most important editor on the American writing scene. I was, to put it mildly, absolutely no one.
I’ve always remembered that.