The Best and the Brightest


I don’t really want to talk about the game. It seemed pretty anti-climatic after this past weekend’s series. And with the Yankees and Orioles losing, things remain pretty much the same. But I did learn, while watching NESN, that author David Halberstam was killed this morning in a car crash.

It doesn’t seem particularly sports-related but Halberstam actually wrote many books on sports and athletes including “The Teammates,” “The Education of a Coach,” and “Summer of ’49.” Halberstam was a great writer, one of my favorites.

I met him once. Several years ago, right after the publication of “The Teammates,” Halberstam’s telling of the close, lifelong friendship between Ted Williams, Dom DiMaggio, Bobby Doerr, and Johnny Pesky, he gave a reading in Harvard Square. I went and I met Halberstam, DiMaggio, and Pesky briefly after the reading. Halberstam had just given the commencement address at my friend’s graduation from Tulane and I made sure to tell him how much she’d enjoyed it. He seemed genuinely touched and gracious. And then he laughed when Johnny Pesky told me I was cute.

Perhaps I am especially saddened because Halberstam, who won a Pulitzer before he turned 30, has always been someone I’ve admired. I read a collection of his essays “The Fifties” in high school and have enjoyed his work ever since. An unquestionable talent, I’ve always appreciated the way he turned sports journalism – often seen as frivolous – into something worthwhile and legitimate.

Halberstam was 73, a Pulitzer Prize winner and the author or more than 20 books. But he was also a sports fan.

I seem to have picked up a lot of new readers lately, (Hi! Glad you’re here). I’m not sure where they came from or how they found me, but I’m glad they did. Now go read “The Teammates” and I’ll see you tomorrow.

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