A beautifully written recount of Ted Williams' (and to some degree his career) last game. Stories like this make me well up with tears every time. I'm such a sucker for a great sports story, especially a great baseball story.
John Updike writes in 'Our Far-Flung Correspondents: Hub Fans Bid Kid Adieu':
Williams was third in the batting order, so he came up in the bottom of the first inning, and Steve Barber, a young pitcher who was not yet born when Williams began playing for the Red Sox, offered him four pitches, at all of which he disdained to swing, since none of them were within the strike zone. This demonstrated simultaneously that Williams’ eyes were razor-sharp and that Barber’s control wasn’t.
John Updike goes on to say:
Understand that we were a crowd of rational people. We knew that a home run cannot be produced at will; the right pitch must be perfectly met and luck must ride with the ball. Three innings before, we had seen a brave effort fail. The air was soggy; the season was exhausted. Nevertheless, there will always lurk, around a corner in a pocket of our knowledge of the odds, an indefensible hope, and this was one of the times, which you now and then find in sports, when a density of expectation hangs in the air and plucks an event out of the future.
Ted Williams' last at bat.
Ted Williams, Boston's Achilles.
Ted Williams' swing.
I forget where I was linked to this from. Sorry.