Roger Angell, 93, Receives Baseball Hall of Fame Award

The game he loves has honored the man many say is its finest chronicler. On July 26, the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., presented the J.G. Taylor Spink Award to Roger Angell, for 50 years of writing about the national pastime. In The New Yorker magazine and in a number of books, Angell shared his passion for a sport he calls “the hardest game to play.” Speaking to the crowd after receiving his award, Angell was grateful: …

Tony Gwynn, Baseball’s ‘Mr. Padre,’ Dies at 54

In college, Tony Gwynn read Boston Red Sox great Ted Williams’ how-to book, The Science of Hitting. It must have made an impression. The stocky left-handed outfielder, who died on June 16 at age 54 in Poway, Calif., went on to build the sort of baseball career with the San Diego Padres from 1982 to 2001 that little boys dream about. He won eight National League batting championships (tying Honus Wagner’s record), amassed 3,141 hits, had a .338 career batting …

Ralph Kiner: The Slugger Who Became a Hit Behind the Mic

As a left fielder for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians in the 1940s and 1950s, Ralph Kiner was one of baseball’s greatest power hitters. Kiner, who died on Feb. 6 at age 91 in Rancho Mirage, Calif., led the National League in home runs seven straight times, and once clouted 54 of them in a season, more than even Willie Mays or Hank Aaron ever did. Kiner had another gift. In his second career as a TV announcer …

Stickball Hall of Fame Celebrates ‘Poor Man’s Baseball’

Two weeks before the Baseball Hall of Fame’s Class of 2013 is inducted in Cooperstown, N.Y., six athletes celebrated their own Hall of Fame inductions with a game of stickball, baseball’s scrappy, streetwise cousin. Veteran players gathered in an East Harlem schoolyard on July 12 to play the classic neighborhood sport, where broomsticks and manhole covers take the place of bats and bases. Another departure from baseball: Hall of Fame induction is based on bragging rights, not statistics. Stickball’s popularity …

Deacon Jones: The Secretary of Defense

When defensive end David “Deacon” Jones, who died on June 3 at age 74 in Southern California, joined the Los Angeles Rams in 1961 as an obscure 14th-round pick out of Mississippi Valley State, it was the derring-do of quarterbacks, running backs and receivers that put fans in the seats and kept them glued to the TV set. Jones helped to change that by making defense just as exciting. At 6 foot 5 and 270 pounds, Jones was an imposing …