Bidding John Updike Adieu

While most media attention has focused on the death of my cat, the world of letters lost someone else of note yesterday as well: John Updike. If you haven’t read it, the Rabbit series was pretty spectacular. And of course, as many baseball bloggers are noting today, in 1960 Updike wrote this fantastic piece on the occasion of Ted Williams’ last game.

It’s long, but you’re not going to read anything better today.

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  1. The Common Man said...

    Great article, Craig; thanks for the link.  And thank God a real writer was there for that moment, so that we have such a vivid picture of it.  My favorite passage though was,

    “Against the ten crucial games (the seven World Series games with the St. Louis Cardinals, the 1948 playoff with the Cleveland Indians, and the two-game series with the Yankees at the end of the 1949 season, winning either one of which would have given the Red Sox the pennant) that make up the Achilles’ heel of Williams’ record, a mass of statistics can be set showing that day in and day out he was no slouch in the clutch. The correspondence columns of the Boston papers now and then suffer a sharp flurry of arithmetic on this score; indeed, for Williams to have distributed all his hits so they did nobody else any good would constitute a feat of placement unparalleled in the annals of selfishness.”

    John Updike, proto-sabermatrician?  I love his short stories, and read Rabbit, Run once upon a time.  I think it’s time to revisit.

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