John Updike (1932-2009)

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John Hoyer Updike (Wikipedia bio linked here), the Massachusetts native and acclaimed, Pultizer Prize-winning novelist, poet, short story writer, art critic and literary critic, died today from lung cancer. He was 76.

Linking him to sports isn’t easy, but the Boston Red Sox know him well.

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It was Updike, who in a famous essay called “Hub Fans Bid Kid Adieu,” on Ted Williams’ last game played in Oct., 1960, once described Fenway Park as a “lyric little bandbox of a ballpark” and “a compromise between Man’s Euclidean determinations and Nature’s beguiling irregularities.”

The essay’s first few lines are inscribed on the walls of the reception area in the team’s front office since 2002.

Enjoy the whole essay here thanks to where it originally appeared in The New Yorker (linked here) and reprinted on the Baseball Alamanac (linked here).

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