Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Baseball Boss

Reading John Updike's essay, "Hub Fans Bid Kid Adieu" (later published as a book by the same title), I was taken by one reviewer's comment that this was the best essay on baseball ever written. High praise, to be sure.  But Updike had made his foray into the Boston ballpark to witness Ted Williams's last at-bat (which turned out to be a home run)--and to produce an essay on the experience.

Fresh into a new major league season, it is fascinating to look back on an era when several major league stars spent time overseas during the war.  Williams himself was a pilot. 

Nevertheless, even with three years away from baseball, Williams by the time of his retirement was 3rd all-time on the home run list.  He also sported one of the highest lifetime batting averages and was generally regarded as the best hitter of his era.

I am no baseball expert, but I did enjoy Updike's account of Williams's final game.  A well-written piece.


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