Read Five Seasons: A Baseball Companion by Roger Angell Online


Five Seasons covers the baseball seasons from 1972 through 1976, described as the “most significant half decade in the history of the game.” The era was notable for the remarkable individual feats of Hank Aaron, Lou Brock, and Nolan Ryan, among others. It also presented one of the best World Series of all time (1975), including still the greatest World Series game ever plaFive Seasons covers the baseball seasons from 1972 through 1976, described as the “most significant half decade in the history of the game.” The era was notable for the remarkable individual feats of Hank Aaron, Lou Brock, and Nolan Ryan, among others. It also presented one of the best World Series of all time (1975), including still the greatest World Series game ever played (Game Six). Along with visiting other games and campaigns, Roger Angell meets a trio of Tigers-obsessed fans, goes to a game with a departing old-style owner, watches high-school ball in Kentucky with a famous scout, and explores the sad and astounding mystery of Steve Blass’s vanished control. Angell’s Five Seasons is a gem and a gift for baseball lovers of all ages....

Title : Five Seasons: A Baseball Companion
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780803259508
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 413 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Five Seasons: A Baseball Companion Reviews

  • Joe
    2019-03-04 10:40

    Five Seasons is a great series of essays Angell penned between 1972 and 1977, mostly for the New Yorker. This period, Angell argues, was the most significant half-decade in the game's history. I don't know if he's changed his mind about that claim since the foreword was written, but the pieces included here make a compelling case.The level of play during the 1970s, particularly in the postseason, was remarkably high. These years were also marked by labor strife and the beginnings of free agency. The particulars of these events are not unfamiliar to baseball fans but it is interesting to see a good writer react to them as they unfolded through the mid 70s. Angell loves the Mets (and the great Tom Seaver) and his recounting of the 1973 pennant race is very memorable. I also appreciated the attention Angell pays to the ageing, but still very good, Detroit Tiger teams of that era. There is, of course, a long piece describing the already exhaustively covered '75 Series. This may have been my least favorite story in the collection and I suspect that is only because I have heard so much about it (and seen film of, I think, every game) that it's grown tiresome. But it's great stuff for Reds fans who want to relive the win and a keeper for Sox fans who feel they didn't receive sufficient attention from Ken Burns.The best articles in the book include a long piece about scouting (my favorite), a great story about Horace Stoneham, and the famous Steve Blass article "Gone For Good". It's worth picking up a copy for these three essays alone. This really is an essential read for baseball fans, particularly those of us who began to follow the game in the years that followed the ones Angell covers here. So many of the exceptional young players that pop up throughout the book were, by the time I was following the game closely, established veterans. Here we get a chance to find out how the early years went for them and how so many of the great players and journeymen of the previous generation wrapped up their careers.

  • Josh
    2019-02-17 14:34

    It's taken as Bible-truth that Angell is the best baseball writer on the planet. This book shows the reader why that's the case. Angell is a wordsmith without being showy about it and an insider who convincingly dresses up as a fan. "Three for the Tigers" and "The Scout" are two true standout pieces, but the whole book is a treasure, even the recaps of seasons long since passed. At times, the writing/references seem dated (which, duh, they are), but this book holds up remarkably well on the whole. You need to be a baseball fan to enjoy it, and if you are a baseball fan, you need to read it.

  • Will Albers
    2019-03-06 18:20

    Not just a great baseball writer but really one of the finest American writers ever.

  • Tobias
    2019-03-04 15:35

    Great collection of essays, especially his essay on the 1975 World Series, which includes a splendid little elegy on what sports fandom means. More than his earlier collection, reflects the changes in the business of baseball in the 1970s. His views became much more progressive - friendly to the players, critical of owners - than earlier. (Also, good reminder of just how great an era the 1970s actually was for baseball.)

  • Dave Jackson
    2019-03-19 11:32

    My favorite of Roger Angell's many great books on baseball. The essays on three die-hard Detroit Tigers fans, former Pirates pitcher Steve Blass, and Angels scout Day Scarborough particularly stand out. This book reminds us that even as baseball was becoming the big-money game it is today, it is continually played, tended to and followed by human beings.

  • Valerie Seckler
    2019-02-26 13:37

    Roger Angell's classic rates as a must read for baseball fans and enthusiasts. After reading "Five Seasons" for the first time circa 1978, I've returned for extra innings.

  • Jim
    2019-03-09 16:42

    Roger Angell has been doubly blessed with a passionate love for baseball and an undeniable talent for writing. Fortunately, for us, he combines these two elements of his character quite often. In this collection of essays, he turns his enlightened lens on the 1972-1976 major league baseball seasons, which featured landmark events like Hank Aaron’s 715th home run, the Amazin’ Mets of 1973, the birth of the free agent era, and Carlton Fisk’s incredible shot in Game 6 of the 1975 World Series at Fenway. Angell’s pellucid prose animates these events, and many others, in a way that will instantly recall them to the forefront of your memory—if you were lucky enough to live through them—or make you wish you’d witnessed them if they somehow escaped the scope of your life. Angell also examines some everyday fans like three rabid Detroit devotees as well as some of the game’s invisible stars like professional scouts.A true baseball lover couldn’t do much better than to read anything Angell has ever written about the game. From the months of November through February, nothing fills the baseball void as Angell does.

  • Stephanie
    2019-02-20 10:43

    I grew up loving baseball because my family was a family of Red Sox fans. Baseball, for me, is the joy, and the pain, of loving a team who can shoot themselves in the foot every September almost without fail (until they don't -- but that's a different story!), but who still command devotion; of the sights and smells and feel of seeing a ballgame in a classic park, crowded into tiny seats, fans streaming in from immediately surrounding city; of knowing and caring who your starting lineup is; the sound of a ballgame on the radio on a hot summer night. Red Sox fans, like Cubs fans, and Tigers fans, are fans of the game because they are fans of their team. Roger Angell's book, FIVE SEASONS, covers a period in the early to mid-70s when baseball was going through some significant changes, and where we saw some of the finest players, with names we still recognize, play. So much changed at that time for which we still complain: a shift to caring about the numbers (early MONEYBALL); players' salaries; free agency. There is also the charm of reading about Pete Rose for his skill; of the Yankees and their losing seasons, playing at Shea while their stadium was being renovated; of the Oakland A's wild hair and mustaches; of the 1976 World Series. This is a book for the baseball lover, and Angell's wonderful writing highlights beautifully the pleasures and the passions of baseball.

  • Tom Gase
    2019-03-01 11:45

    If there is a baseball writer on this planet better than Roger Angell, I have yet to find him or her. Five Seasons is another great book by Angell. This book chronicles the 1972-1976 seasons, which were dominated by the Cincinati Reds and Oakland A's. There is other great writing that isn't on those two teams, however, that is great. Angell has a great story between three Detroit Tiger fans that root for the team during the 1973 season, a conversation with old San Francisco Giants owner Howard Stoneham, and a heartbreakings story on Steve Glass, the Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher who won Game 7 of the 1971 World Series, only to find himself struggling in the next few years to regain his control on the mound. The only thing that makes this review less than a perfect five-star rating is there was a lot of talk about the labor unions and Marvin Miller near the end of this book. While I understand it's very important, and you can't leave it out, I do find it boring. I'd rather hear about the play on the field. I recommend this book for any baseball fan, especially those who remember watching the sport from 1972 through 1976.

  • Matt Simmons
    2019-03-16 14:45

    What a lovely book. Angell is a gorgeous writer, and he brings baseball to the level of poetry, always--something that's not that hard to do, because baseball is just so lovely. A great narrative, broken into pieces as it may be, of a significant time in the history of the game, where Henry Aaron breaks the Babe's record, where the DH and free agency rules completely change the complexion of the game, and the Big Red Machine and the great Oakland A's teams dominant the league. But the greatest part of the book is the simple, beautiful narratives of individual people. The tales of a pitcher who loses his stuff mysteriously, and of a scout driving the rural roads of America looking for young men he knows won't, ultimately, make it--those are just incredible narratives. Anyone who loves baseball should read this. Anyone who loves good writing should read this. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, anyone who wants to understand, in complex and lovely ways, the relationship between America and American sports, in all its contradictions and strangeness and beauties, should read this book, as Angell does a really magnificent job evoking this.

  • Ben
    2019-02-20 18:31

    This is a rare sports book in that it talks about numbers, statistics, and records but doesn't revel in them. It's written by a man who truly loves the game qualitatively and aesthetically. It's the anti-Moneyball. The essays in Five Seasons cover a variety of topics, from strikes and lockouts to reflections from great players of the past to the scouts who look for the talent of the future. Don't expect a chronological retelling of the five great seasons from 1972-1976. Read it when you have time to savor the essays and you will remember why you love this game (assuming you do). You will probably also pine for the simpler days before multimillion dollar contracts and performance enhancing drugs.

  • Jamie VW
    2019-02-21 18:44

    The bard of baseball, Roger Angell constantly reminds me of the pure beauty of the game. His lyrical language parallels the improvisational dance of the sport and, despite speaking of seasons from decades before, constructs in-depth characters delving far beyond the stat sheet and tells stories that almost never feel dated, irrelevant or stale. The reader can’t help but get excited about outcomes of games long forgotten, cheer for the farm-team rookie grasping at his one shot in the big leagues or despair for the journeyman veteran reflecting on a long career flickering out. Angell is undoubtedly the best baseball writer in the sport’s storied history.

  • Jonathan Hiskes
    2019-03-09 15:36

    A collection of five years of Angell's reporting on baseball for the New Yorker. It's worth tracking down for the first essay alone, the marvelous "On the Ball," which made me see the game and the pitcher's natural advantage over the batter in a new light. Angell brings wit and curiosity, and most of all a fierce love for the game. He teaches the reader in a way that reminds me why I don't like baseball broadcasters -- they rarely explain anything about strategy or technique. The pieces that are narrative recaps of the seasons haven't aged as well, but there are gems throughout, like "Gone for Good," about the pitcher Steve Blass's sudden, inexplicable loss of control.

  • David Lucander
    2019-03-17 17:40

    Five Seasons reads like a 1970s travelogue, sort of a Blue Highways meets baseball. Like Heast-Moon, Angell is a keen observer of humanity who writes with an impressive wit - but both writers share the same downfall...droning on and on and using too much pointless dialogue and droning on. Entire chapters consist of idle banter among Tigers fans discussing baseball - boring. There's some good sections about the game and American society in the 1970s, more on Nolan Ryan and how modern stadiums displace working class/poor people and I'd love this book.

  • Doubledf99.99
    2019-03-15 10:22

    This book is One of my favotite reads about the game of Baseball by one very fine and astute observer, who just happens to be a great writer and author. The author writes of five seasons in the 70's, the major changes taking place, designated hitter, free agency, night baseball, playoffs. The stories on the players, the sights and sounds of spring training, the teams, the playoffs and the World Series, just reinforces my conviction why Baseball is so great and enduring to me.

  • Chris Dean
    2019-03-03 14:39

    This book was a nice collection of essays that Angell wrote during the 1972 through 1976 baseball seasons. It goes beyond the typical goings-on the field and also covers what it is like to be a fan during this period. Angell is very fond of the word "epochal" as it appears in nearly every chapter. I really liked the way he finished the final essay as it ties things up very nicely, relating a story about his son's first baseball game.

  • Tom
    2019-03-13 15:28

    More great writing from Angell. Discusses baseball without sounding too sentimental and weepy about it, which is a huge problem with a lot of baseball writing. Some of the pieces are better than others; some of his best writing is not about the game on the field but the personalities and emotions surrounding the game.

  • Ted
    2019-03-16 13:15

    Angell at the top of his game, full of swirling metaphor, daily grinding, quiet observation, deft descriptions of the action on the field. The games were played thirty years ago, but the writing holds strong and remains engaging throughout, by virtue of the writer.

  • Bill Leesman
    2019-03-01 16:22

    One of the best sports books ever written. For those who watched baseball in the 70's it will instantly take you back to those moments and those heroes of the diamond. A must read for baseball fans and one of the few books I have read multiple times.

  • Michael
    2019-03-15 11:24

    It's always hard to read books that don't account for the revolution in baseball stats. Still, Angell writes like a dream.

  • Grace
    2019-03-18 10:23

    The only reason this is partially-read is that I'm giving it away.Perfect like baseball — marvelous cadences and moments of sheer hilarity. The prose is amazing, and the stories are even better.

  • Fran
    2019-03-16 16:26

    I'd read anything written by Angell. Even before I ever saw a baseball game I read his articles in the New Yorker just for the wonderful writing.

  • Ron Kaplan
    2019-03-16 16:36


  • Michael
    2019-03-02 13:44

    Opening day cannot come soon enough for me... Aptly titled book, as it is a welcome and cherished companion for the baseball fan.

  • David
    2019-03-20 15:19

    Sports writing lifted to the level of literature.

  • Chelsea
    2019-03-13 17:34

    Marry me, Roger Angell!

  • Christopher Klug
    2019-02-18 12:36

    Although most of the stories were written about events before my time, I really enjoyed the writing.

  • Bill S.
    2019-03-13 13:38

    Always enjoyed Angell's take on the game and the personalities that make it such a joy. This book was another enjoyable read by an excellent writer.

  • Carolyn
    2019-02-19 10:45

    Some of the best passages I've read about what it feels like to love a baseball team.