The blog for Mets fans
who like to read


Greg Prince and Jason Fry
Faith and Fear in Flushing made its debut on Feb. 16, 2005, the brainchild of two longtime friends and lifelong Met fans.

Greg Prince discovered the Mets when he was 6, during the magical summer of 1969. He is a Long Island-based writer, editor and communications consultant. Contact him here.

Jason Fry is a Brooklyn writer whose first memories include his mom leaping up and down cheering for Rusty Staub. Check out his other writing here.

Got something to say? Leave a comment, or email us at (Sorry, but we have no interest in ads, sponsored content or guest posts.)

Need our RSS feed? It's here.

Visit our Facebook page, or drop by the personal pages for Greg and Jason.

Or follow us on Twitter: Here's Greg, and here's Jason.

That Rare Inner Smile

“The Mets — ah, the Mets! Superlatives do not quite fit them, but now, just as in 1969, the name alone is enough to bring back that rare inner smile that so many of us wore as summer ended.”

Summer, in a sense, has ended with the news that Roger Angell, who wrote the above sentence in the aftermath of the New York National League pennant push of 1973, has died at 101. Sixty years ago, Angell, already an accomplished editor with the New Yorker, carved out a branch to his oak of a career, becoming his esteemed publication’s baseball writer. Before Angell, perhaps it would have sounded odd to think of the New Yorker as having a baseball writer. Because of Angell, millions of baseball fans consider the New Yorker a baseball magazine.

Angell grew up a Giants fan in Manhattan, but in Spring Training 1962, he was drawn to the Mets, and weren’t we the beneficiaries? Roger couldn’t resist St. Petersburg, “the old folks behind home” or, of course, Casey Stengel. He couldn’t resist following us back north, where he defined us before summer began. Angell wrote of the scene at the Polo Grounds when the joint jumped to support the baby Metsies as they endured the return of the powerful Dodgers to the five boroughs, documenting the first “full, furious happy shout of ‘Let’s go, Mets! Let’s go, Mets!’” And that was with the Mets losing by about a million runs. He was humming along to our tune from the Let’s-go get-go, and he wrote the lyrics to our biggest numbers on and off for the next six decades.

Roger Angell was one of us. He was a Mets fan more often than not. When he was, he was a Mets carer of the first order. And, in the realm of what you read in this space, he was the Mets chronicler who inspired us. I’m not doing this blog without Roger Angell setting the bar out of the reach of mere mortals and neither is Jason. We grew up and older reading his books, his articles, his every word about baseball. We smiled that inner smile every December that the issue of the New Yorker containing his postseason essay appeared on newsstands. We listened whenever we were lucky enough to tune into the documentary that was smart enough to book him as the talking head who’d seen so much that you’d almost thought he’d seen it all. Roger Angell was born in 1920, so, yeah, pretty close.

“One more thing,” Angell added to his many observations regarding the National Pastime in the early 1990s. “American men don’t think about baseball as much as they used to, but such thoughts once went deep.” In the case of Roger Angell, that’s where our affection for the summer game, as brought to us through his eyes, resides. Well over the 410 mark, and still going.

11 comments to That Rare Inner Smile

  • dmg

    dammit, i’ve been reading “this old man,” his last collection of essays (pubbed 2015) about growing up in and around new york and what it was like in the nineties – HIS nineties. in a way, i hoped I was helping sustain him, to return the favor his writing has so often done for me.

    those postseason essays summing up the year in baseball, were brilliant, and captured so much of the season just past. may you always have a great seat and a great game to watch, Roger Angell.

  • Ken S.

    For one of my classes for my Certificate in Sports and Special Events Marketing certificate from NYU (Sports Media in New York), we were assigned to write a paper on our favorite sports journalist. I wrote a paper I was very proud of called “Angell’s Angles on the Mets” and received a subpar grade for no reason other than the “teacher” was an unabashed Yankees fan whose main contribution was that she invited Phil Mushnick, Bob Raissman, and Mike Francessa to class and fawned over them. I took the grade from someone who knew less about sports journalism than most of us in the class as a badge of honor. RIP, Mr. Angell.

  • ljcmets

    When I was too young to subscribe to magazines on my own, I haunted book stores and newsstands for great reads that I could buy with my babysitting money. Not just about sports or even baseball, but everything that fascinated me – politics (Theodore White), movies (Pauline Kael), music, theater, space travel, etc.

    I will never forget finding “The Summer Game,” which I believe was Roger Angell’s first baseball anthology and how it sang to me about the Mets -the early Mets, the middle Mets, and finally the Miracle Mets – all the Mets of the 60’s, the decade of my pre-teen years. I quickly bought a paperback copy. I might have spent $5, a pretty penny in those days. I think I read it in one sitting in my grandmother’s big wingback chair that weekend. And that was it. I bought everything he wrote about baseball and the Mets, and when I got a checkbook in college the very first check I wrote was for a subscription to The New Yorker.

    At one time I owned all of Roger Angell’s baseball anthologies. Alas, downsizing and moving meant donating many of them to local libraries. But I still have “The Summer Game,” dog-eared and with a worn binding, on my bookshelf. If you want to understand the Mets and Mets fans, find that book and read it. I would pay quite a bit of money to have a complete anthology of Roger Angell’s baseball writing under one set of covers right now.

    Greg and Jason, you are the closest thing to our generation’s Angell and you wear it well. I hope I live long enough to see the FAFIF anthology take its rightful place on my bookshelf.

  • eric1973

    I believe it was from ‘The Summer Game’ that Angell titled his Mets chapter ‘Mets Redux.’ There are certain words you never forget, and that was such a cool one. It was the first time I had ever heard that word, and to this day I always associate it with Mr. Angell whenever I here it.

  • eric1973

    Ah, yes…
    I remember it well…

  • Ken K.

    When I was a kid, like most kids, beginning in late February I’d run down to the candy store practically every day to see if the new Baseball Cards were out yet.

    By the time I was in my teens, in the late 60’s, a similar process took place. Beginning the 3rd week of November I’d run down to the candy store practically every day to see if the New Yorker “Roger Angell Yearly Baseball Recap Issue” was out yet.

    These words stick in my mind: “Call the Osteopath”– Roger Angell describing one of Luis Tiant’s pitch deliveries.

  • Should there be any interest I will tell you how I almost came to buy the Mets from Doubleday & Company in 1986 but Fred Wilpon and Nelson Doubleday did instead and I was prevented from buying after making a $91 million bid and therefore setting the price of $92 million the two insiders paid.

  • ..A truly great artist with words that added enjoyment and love to this the greatest of American games.. RIP..