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.
Phillies outfielder Odubel Herrera‘s streak of reaching base safely has ended after 45 consecutive games. He went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts in Sunday’s 5-1 loss to the Cardinals.
Herrera’s streak tied Chuck Klein for the fourth-longest on-base streak in Phillies history. The only longer streaks were done by Mike Schmidt (56), Klein again (49), and Bobby Abreu (48). It’s the longest on-base streak in the majors since Freddie Freeman reached base in 46 consecutive games from August 6 to September 28, 2016. Jayson Werth also got to 46 in a row June 20 through August 18 that same year.
After Sunday’s 0-fer, Herrera is batting .344/.411/.544 with seven home runs, 30 RBI, and 24 runs scored in 180 plate appearances. He leads the National League in batting average, and ranks sixth and ninth in slugging percentage.