The novelist John Updike passed away yesterday. I liked the Rabbit books for which he is justly honored. However, he also wrote one of the the best essays ever on baseball, his chronicle of Ted Williams’ last game with the Red Sox and his home run in his final at bat: Hub Fans Bid Kid Adieu
My favorite part:
For me, Williams is the classic ballplayer of the game on a hot August weekday, before a small crowd, when the only thing at stake is the tissue-thin difference between a thing done well and a thing done ill. Baseball is a game of the long season, of relentless and gradual averaging-out. Irrelevance—since the reference point of most individual games is remote and statistical—always threatens its interest, which can be maintained not by the occasional heroics that sportswriters feed upon but by players who always care; who care, that is to say, about themselves and their art.