Saturday, August 06, 2005

John Updike's Essay About Ted Williams And Fenway Park: A life remembered

This past week at Fenway Park, I ended up sitting next to someone who has only recently become a Red Sox fan. I asked him what he thought about the "lyric little bandbox" that is Fenway. He told me he loves the Park, but that he had never heard that term to describe it. It struck me that there are now several generations of Sox fans and citizens of Red Sox Nation who may never have read John Updike's classic essay about Ted Williams' last game. In this essay, Updike waxes poetic about Williams and about Fenway. In addition to the oft quoted line about Fenway being a "lyric little bandbox," the essay also introduced the phrase: "Gods don't answer letters."

The Boston Globe reprinted Updike's essay on the occasion of Ted William's death, and it is this reprinted version I have attached below. The original version appeared in the New Yorker in 1960.

I have always been fascinated with Updike's writing. As a student at Governor Dummer Academy, I was invited to join the Newburyport Choral Society. Updike's first wife, Mary, was also a member, so I had a few occasions to interact with Updike. He is at the height of his proasaic powers in this essay.

Enjoy it - or enjoy it again if you are old enough to have been around when The Splendid Splnter hit a homerun in his last at bat of his career. / Sports / Ted Williams: A life remembered

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