Acclaimed author John Updike, who, among countless other things, penned “Hub Fans Bid Kid Adieu,” the legendary account of Teddy Ballgame’s last at-bat, has died.
If you’ve never read Updike’s Williams piece–which famously describes Fenway as “a lyric little bandbox of a ballpark”–now’s as good a time as any.
Like a feather caught in a vortex, Williams ran around the square of bases at the center of our beseeching screaming. He ran as he always ran out home runs – hurriedly, unsmiling, head down, as if our praise were a storm of rain to get out of. He didn’t tip his cap. Though we thumped, wept, and chanted ”We want Ted” for minutes after he hid in the dugout, he did not come back. Our noise for some seconds passed beyond excitement into a kind of immense open anguish, a wailing, a cry to be saved. But immortality is nontransferable. The papers said that the other players, and even the umpires on the field, begged him to come out and acknowledge us in some way, but he refused. Gods do not answer letters.