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Hub Fans Bid Kid Adieu: John Updike on Ted Williams Hardcover – April 29, 2010

4.9 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Praise through the decades for HUB FANS BID KID ADIEU
"The most celebrated baseball essay ever."
-Roger Angell

"Updike on Williams is a stirring spectacle. Nothing he wrote can top this astonishing piece."
-David Margolick

"The greatest writer, in the greatest ballpark, on the greatest hitter who ever lived."
-Dan Shaughnessy

"No sportswriter ever wrote anything better."
-Garrison Keillor

"The piece that changed the way the sport is written. Updike made baseball the lyricist's game."
-Peter Gammons

"Updike was a baseball writer only once, yet he wrote the finest 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

"It has the mystique."
-Ted Williams

About the Author

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, and since 1957 has lived in Massachusetts. He is the author of fifty-odd previous books, including twenty novels and numerous collections of short stories, poems, and criticism. His fiction has won the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the American Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Rosenthal Award, and the Howells Medal.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Library of America; First Edition edition (April 29, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1598530712
  • ISBN-13: 978-1598530711
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.4 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #659,249 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Michael J. Ettner on April 30, 2010
Format: Hardcover
"Hub Fans Bid Kid Adieu" is John Updike's loving tribute to the character and craft of Boston Red Sox slugger Ted Williams. First published in The New Yorker magazine a few weeks after Updike sat in the stands of Fenway Park watching Williams' final at bat on September 28, 1960, the essay has over the years attracted the highest praise from trustworthy observers. Some of these accolades appear in the Editorial Reviews section above. The praise is accurate and deserved.

If you follow baseball and care about its storied past, or admire the writing of John Updike, then you will enjoy reading this piece. If you happen to belong to both camps -- if you're an Updike fan AND a baseball fan -- then put this at the top of your list of must-reads.

The question is whether you should spend your money on this particular setting of "Hub Fans Bid Kid Adieu." The article is available online where it can be read for free on several websites, including that of The New Yorker. In book form the piece has been much anthologized. It appears alongside contributions from the likes of William Carlos Williams, Don DeLillo, and Stephen King, in the elegant 721-page hardcover volume, Baseball: A Literary Anthology. It can be found in The Greatest Baseball Stories Ever Told: Thirty Unforgettable Tales from the Diamond (paperback), edited by Jeff Silverman, where it hides amongst 30 fiction and nonfiction pieces from a motley crew of writers such as Doris Kearns Godwin, Pete Hamill, Ring Lardner, P.G.
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Format: Hardcover
For any baseball aficionado, but especially for Boston Red Sox fans, the Library of America has just published a sacred tomb: a reprint of John Updike's famous New Yorker article on Ted Williams' last game for the Boston Red Sox.

Updike's reporting on Williams and his love-hate relationship with Boston, its sportswriters and Red Sox fans is a classic.

Even better, this edition also includes some nifty footnotes by the late Updike, written only months before his death last year, as well as excerpts from an article Updike wrote on Williams for Sport Magazine in 1986 and the obituary Updike wrote for the New York Times Magazine, marking Williams' death in 2002.

Updike's writing on Williams is a treasure trove for baseball fans that could be reasonably described as a holy grail on one of the greatest baseball players of all time. This is a book that should sit on every fan's bedside table to be read and reread even as baseball battles its drug addictions and overpays its current stars. It restores one's faith in the national past-time. Williams was, quite simply a classic. As is this book.
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Format: Hardcover
I heard Updike's famous essay read before I read it myself. I listened to it again on the day Updike died. Thank God he was there at Fenway that day when Williams exited the stage of baseball. His account of the game is sheer poetry; a simultaneous dissection of the psyches of Williams and his fans. And now at last it is bound and covered as it should have been long ago. I already regard my copy as an heirloom, a memorable summary of the day when the paths of an MVP and a Pulitzer Prize winner crossed forever.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Spring always inspires with new beginnings, flowers in bloom, but also yesterday’s experiences. John Updike writes all these elements and more in his short story and memoir of September 28, 1960. Updike’s memoir of watching the legendary Ted “the kid” Williams’s last game at Fenway Park as the Boston Red Sox played against the Baltimore Orioles. Hub Fans Bid Kid Adieu is a re-publication of an article that originally appeared in the New Yorker in October 1960 but now appeared during the time of its publication, 2010 to commemorate 50 years after that historic moment in baseball history. For baseball aficionados or the curious, the story resonates and marks of a new horizon of Camelot and the 1960s and the end golden age of America’s past time turning over to a new generation of players and events.

The book and memoir specifically is a personal account on the part of Updike’s love of the game that began as it does with many, as a child that continued well into adulthood. This shows within the opening passages of the book that is touching and succinct with only 47 pages of reflections and reminisces, especially, Updike recollects that moment in September when Williams walks on the field and the reaction that he observes from fans sitting right next to him of young and older fans from all walks of society and play by play of the game; this is displayed in the last ten pages of the book. Although the account is meant to be a detailed account, footnotes are also included to reprint an interesting biographical byline of the man and baseball player that began his careers at a young age of 18 years old and decided to call it a day by 42 years old.
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