The end of a glorious affair

After John Updike was ditched by a woman with whom he was to have an adulterous tryst, he went to Fenway Park instead to see Ted Williams’ final game. The New Yorker story that stemmed from that outing, “Hub Fans Bid Kid Adieu,” remains a classic, as Chip McGrath writes:

“Most of all, Updike identified with the artist in Williams: his focus and perfectionism, his single-mindedness in mastering the difficult craft of hitting, the way that, proud and a little aloof, he would not kowtow to the Boston press or court the fans’ affection, refusing to the very end to tip his cap in acknowledgment of their applause. He embraced and understood Williams’s isolation, writing: ‘It is an essentially lonely game. No other player visible to my generation has concentrated within himself so much of the sport’s poignance, has so assiduously refined his natural skills, has so constantly brought to the plate that intensity of competence that crowds the throat with joy.’ ”

Read the story for yourself. It’s more than just a great headline.

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