This little book first appeared as an essay by John Updike in The New Yorker of October 20, 1960. And then was added to with later footnotes as the essay itself became famous, and finally this little book appeared along with a kind of eulogy in 2010 from The Library of America courtesy of Mr Updike dying the year before. October 1960 was early in the process of Updike becoming famous with his Rabbit books every ten or so years, and before Roger Angell took over the regular baseball desk at that magazine. It was entitled Hub Fans Bid Kid Adieu. It told a little of the earlier history of this famous player and then gets more specific as it comes down to Williams' last day as a player at Fenway Park in late September 1960. Very nice and worth reading when you are young and again when you are older. In other words, it goes on the list of recommendations for my grandchildren, sporting or not.
Typical wry and understated Updike, instead of saying he went to Harvard College in the '50s and the baseball god of Boston, Tom Yawkey at the time, had failed to sustain the Red Sox with the other necessities to win, he says "by the time I went to college, near Boston, the lesser stars Yawkey had assembled around Williams had faded . . . ."
He goes on to tell of the love/hate relationship the press and Boston had with Williams. Of course, this was standard operating knowledge for juvenile baseball fans of that era. But John Updike puts things together like no one else and ends his tale in late September 1960: "On the car radio as I drove home I heard that Williams, his own man to the end, had decided not to accompany the team to New York. He had met the little death that awaits athletes. He had quit."