Apologies to those who know this already, but John Updike’s “Hub Fans Bid Kid Adieu” is one of the best and most influential things ever written about baseball. It was occasioned by Ted Williams’ final game, which took place 50 years ago tomorrow.
Updike was in the crowd — he was supposed to meet a woman for an extra-marital tryst on Beacon Hill, but got stood up and went to the game instead — and was inspired to write about it all in the ensuing days. Less than a month later it was reprinted in The New Yorker, and the careers of a generation or three of baseball writers was born.
If you have the time today — and I suggest you make time — the essay can be read over at the New Yorker’s website. You won’t read anything better today. Or most days, actually.