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On September 28, 1960, for his final at bat in Fenway Park, Ted Williams hit a home run in the 8th inning of a game the Sox eventually won. Fifty-four years later, for his final at bat at Yankee Stadium, Derek Jeter hit a single, driving in the winning run for the Yankees in the bottom of the 9th.

Neither of those at bats could change disappointing seasons for the Sox or the Yankees.

Yet both of those at bats will long be remembered.

John Updike, a Pulitzer Prize winning novelist, described what happened in Fenway in his superb Hub Fans Bids Kid Adieu. If you’ve never read this piece, you’re in for a treat. If you have read it and chose to reread it, you’re also in for a treat.

And although there has been massive coverage of Derek Jeter’s final Yankee Stadium at bat and retirement in general, I offer an equally wonderful and worthy essay about Jeter, The Final Walk Off, written by another Pulitzer Prize winning author, J.R. Moehringer, that was published just a few days ago by ESPN.

Interestingly, neither Updike nor Moehringer are sports’ writers, tho both are sports’ fans.

Both articles recount these final (home) at bats…and much more.

Both articles will tell you things you’ve never known about Williams and Jeter.

And both articles will put things you may have known (or sensed) into words and into perspectives that will explain why these two ball players were among the best, in different ways, of their generation.

When you have some time (the Jeter article is long):

Hub Fans Bid Kid Adieu, by John Updike, The New Yorker, Oct. 22, 1960.

The Final Walk Off: Derek Jeter Plays Last Game at Yankee Stadium, by J.R. Moehringer, ESPN The Magazine, Sept. 26, 2014.

(J.R.Moehringer won the Pulitzer Prize for newspaper writing {2000} and is the author of three books — a wonderful memoir, The Tender Bar, one of the best sports’ biographies I’ve ever read, Open, and most recently, a novel, Sutton, based on the life of bank robber Willie Sutton.)

(John Updike won Pulitzer Prizes for both Rabbit Is Rich and Rabbit at Rest and wrote 18 other novels, numerous short stories, poems, and children’s books, and was both a literary and art critic. He also wrote for The New Yorker.)