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The Post’s Tom Boswell is retiring

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Announced today.   For me, the greatest baseball columnist of his generation.    He was in his absolute prime when covering the Orioles’ teams of the late 70’s and early 80’s, and almost singlehandedly got the DC metro market interested in the Orioles with his vivid depictions of the personalities on those teams and the chemistry they had.   I will miss him terribly, even though he almost exclusively covers the Nats these days.   

If you’ve never had the pleasure of reading him, pick up a copy of Why Time Begins on Opening Day, which is the first of several baseball anthologies he put together.   It’s a classic.

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From his column announcing his retirement:

Of all the long-haul stories I’ve covered, I suspect that Cal Ripken Jr.’s streak has the best chance to be remembered the longest. People who become symbols — of something good, simple and strong — are the ones who endure, such as Jackie Robinson, before my time, or Ripken, who didn’t “save” baseball and wouldn’t claim to but sure helped after the strike that killed the 1994 World Series.


In September, on the 25th anniversary of his breaking Lou Gehrig’s record, I caught up with Cal to chat, which wasn’t hard because I’ve known him since he was in Class AAA.

Cal recalled how proud he was when Earl Weaver moved him from third base to shortstop, putting sign-relaying and other responsibilities in his 22-year-old hands. “Earl’s confidence gave me confidence,” Cal said.

Only in recent years did Cal finally watch the national TV tape of Game 2,131. Asked about his brilliant decision to put a 6-foot-4, 225-pound slugger at shortstop, Earl said, “I was just trying to get through the weekend.”

“Here, all these years, I thought he believed in me so much,” Cal laughed.

But like lots of Ripken stories, that’s a quiet parable. I wrote: “In MLB, you live one day at a time because the mental burden of facing 162 games is more than you can carry. Even Earl’s just trying to get through the weekend. …

“In that one way, it truly is like life: You can deal with far more — endure more, create more, recover from pain or disappointment more, be your best more often — in one-day increments. It’s almost as if there is no such thing as a ‘life’ and its ‘meaning.’ There are just todays. But, with work and luck, they sure can add up.”

You barely notice at the time, but, yes, they can.



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