Hub Fans Bid Kid Adieu: John Updike on Ted Williams
"After reading this excellent, tiny collection of writing by one of the greats about one of the greats, I'm actively hopeful that the lasting legacy for today's athletes will be more substantial than the boneyard of their abandoned Twitter pages. Because there's a place for this kind of sportswriting—the stuff that tells us what it all means, and why it makes us feel so good."
—DANIEL RILEY, GQ
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On September 28, 1960—a day that will live forever in the hearts of fans—Red Sox slugger Ted Williams stepped up to the plate for his last at-bat in Fenway Park. Seizing the occasion, he belted a solo home run—a storybook ending to a storied career.
In the stands that afternoon was twenty-eight-year-old John Updike, inspired by the moment to make his lone venture into the field of sports reporting. More than just a matchless account of that fabled final game, Hub Fans Bid Kid Adieu is a brilliant evocation of Williams’ entire tumultuous life in baseball.
Now, on the fiftieth anniversary of the dramatic exit of baseball’s greatest hitter, The Library of America presents a commemorative edition of Hub Fans, prepared by the author just months before his death. To the classic final version of the essay, long out-of-print, Updike added an autobiographical preface and a substantial new afterword.
John Updike was born in 1932, in Shillington, Pennsylvania. He graduated from Harvard College in 1954, and spent a year in Oxford, England, at the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art. From 1955 to 1957 he was a member of the staff of The New Yorker. He is the author of more than sixty books, including collections of short stories, poems, essays, and criticism. His novels won the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle, and the Howells Medal, among other honors. He died in January 2009.
“Updike was a baseball writer only once, yet he wrote the best baseball story I know of. He and Ted Williams shared a singular ambition: to be the best that ever played the game.”—Richard Ben Cramer
*This volume is not a part of the Library of America series, and its design specifications differ from those of series titles. Click here for details.
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