Tuesday, January 27, 2009

RIP: John Updike

John Updike, the great American writer, died today at age 76.

Why mention this on a baseball blog? If you've ever bought an anthology of baseball writing, you probably know why: “Hub Fans Bid Kid Adieu,” the marvelous essay Updike wrote in 1960 originally for The New Yorker magazine.

The essay describes the last game in Ted Williams's career, a day that was “overcast, chill, and uninspirational” but that nevertheless produced one of baseball’s most remarkable moments: the home run hit by Williams, aka “The Kid,” in his last major league at bat. Updike viewed the action from a box seat with the eyes of a loving fan, not as a cynical sportswriter sitting in press row. The result is a much-recommended piece full of beautiful prose and surprising turns.

You can read the article in its entirety here at Baseball-Almanac.

Goodbye, John Updike.

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