CHASE UTLEY’S ‘JAKE GITTES HAIR’ CAUGHT ROGER ANGELL’S ATTENTION

By Theodore N. Beitchman

Roger Angell died last week at the age of 101.

He was considered the greatest wordsmith in the glorious history of baseball, which dates to 1869.

The New Yorker is where he plied his craft, and its readers would wait for his World Series take for weeks before it finally hit their mailboxes.

He naturally wrote about the Phillies, especially when they were great.

And the New York Times’ Tyler Kepner came up with this sugar plum:

And here he is, nearly a quarter-century later, on Chase Utley, a Philadelphia Phillies second baseman with surprising power from the left side:

“Utley, who has slicked-back, Jake Gittes hair, possesses a quick bat and a very short home-run stroke; he looks like a man in an A.T.M. reaching for his cash.”

That was in Angell’s dispatch in 2009 from that year’s World Series, an event he first attended in 1941 as a student at Harvard.

He had gone to Philadelphia with friends for the Harvard/Penn football game, he told me, and stopped at Ebbets Field in Brooklyn on the way back.

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