Nick Cafardo dies at 62

geoflin

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Feb 26, 2004
374
Melrose MA
Sad to hear this. Despite disagreeing with him often I read everything he wrote which is more than I can say about some other local writers. I will miss him.
 

luckysox

Eeyore
Bronze Supporter
SoSH Member
Apr 21, 2009
7,231
S.E. Pennsylvania
This news really made me sad, which is weird, because I obviously didn't know the guy, and didn't often care to read his stuff. That said, it's Spring Training and I've been wandering into the Red Sox section of the Globe to get my daily dose of our beloved drug. Is his column on Steve Pearce his last piece? If so, it was pretty well done. It's a nice write up about a good man and great "role player" from last year, getting to play at least one more season with his favorite team. Pearce is, much like Cafardo was, living the dream that so many of us had (and still have.) Cafardo wasn't on full-blast "down with analytics" but he did score a few points for scouting just in writing this piece - most analytics probably say Pearce should wither up and blow away already in terms of his baseball skills just because he's about to be 36 years old, but Cafardo and others who use their eyes before looking at deep (any) analytics see Pearce as incredibly valuable - a World Series MVP!!! - and cheered when he was resigned by the Sox. And we all cheered, too. We, as fans, like his story, and we like his hustle, his smile, all the intangibles, the way he just looks like a ballplayer. We also like his ability to crush lefties, take a walk, and play multiple positions if necessary. I hope Cafardo is remembered as a writer by this line in his last column: "The Red Sox identified the right guy. Not only because he was a good hitter vs. lefties, but because of what they had learned about him as a person. It was the ultimate analytics-meets-scouting moment."

Anyway, like I said, this news made me sad.
 

tims4wins

PN23's replacement
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
20,999
Hingham, MA
Despite not really agreeing with anything he wrote and spending more time goofing on his articles than enjoying his work, this saddens me more than I could have possibly imagined. It’s been awesome reading those tweets about how respected and loved he was. Nick always seemed like a good guy, and as someone else said upthread, any day that we lose someone who loved baseball as much as Nick did is a tragic day. RIP, Nick.
 

uncannymanny

Well-Known Member
Gold Supporter
SoSH Member
Jan 12, 2007
6,039
Boston --> NYC --> LA --> NYC
I hope Cafardo is remembered as a writer by this line in his last column: "The Red Sox identified the right guy. Not only because he was a good hitter vs. lefties, but because of what they had learned about him as a person. It was the ultimate analytics-meets-scouting moment."
Great post, especially this. Well said.
 
Sep 13, 2006
688
Just awful. I rolled my eyes at a lot of his stuff as well. But had occasion to chat with him a couple times in Chicago last summer. Was staying at same hotel during Sox vs Sox series. He seemed like a nice guy, and was willing to engage with fans and discuss the ballclub. Very sorry for his family.
Very sad and tragic.

I chatted with him briefly last year in Tampa. He was very friendly and engaging. RIP, Nick.
 

cheekydave

Member
SoSH Member
Jun 11, 2004
2,993
Bohoken
62? I'm 62. Really horrible, feel terrible for his family. Add me to the multitudes who ragged on his writing and him in general., as a sportswriter. He Never seemed like a mean, nasty person though, gawd knows there are many like that in Boston...The staggering amount of mentions on Twitter about him from his peers is very telling, I hope at some point his family has a chance to read those tributes, and it brings them a measure of solace and pride.
 

Ale Xander

Member
SoSH Member
Oct 31, 2013
21,547
This news makes me very sad. I read his columns on Sunday back when the newspaper was still a thing, and enjoyed his writing. Always seemed to be a genuine and caring person, didn't avoid fans when they said hi by the elevators at Fenway.

A little chilling to be walking partly where he was walking today, probaby just an hour or so before this happened and to have taken pictures of Pearce today at the cage, not knowing about the article.

Found out the news ironically listening to Pete Sheppard who's now in SW FL co-hosting on 99.3.

Very sad day. 62 is way too young,and he was too nice a guy to go so early.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

All Hail King Boron
Dope
May 20, 2003
30,445
Deep inside Muppet Labs
The younger sportswriters are coming out in force to talk about how kind Nick was to all of them in a business where that wasn’t very common. Tomase, of all people, had a nice story on the EEI website about it.
 

pokey_reese

Member
SoSH Member
Jun 25, 2008
13,062
Eugene, OR
Yeah, wow. Spring Training especially drives home what a valuable service he provided to all baseball fans, at a time of year when the ESPNs of the world aren't satisfying, the ST notes columns and coverage that only a local beat writer like him can provide really usher in the season. Like most here, I didn't always agree with his takes, but that on its own gave us things to talk about, and he was always in there, not afraid to have an opinion about the game he loved and share it with the rest of us. RIP.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

Found no thrill on Blueberry Hill
SoSH Member
Sep 9, 2008
26,114
AZ
I read more of the Cafardo thread here than I read Nick. And, yeah, I was always entertained.

More than a few times, I wondered why he seemed to keep the gig despite some weaknesses and a seeming inability to want to change or do better. And it turns out the answer may just be that, even in 2019 in a brutal profession, being really kind, a mentor, having patience, and expressing an undeniable love for the game that shines through work that otherwise some might want to pick apart, is enough.

There's something really pleasant about that, and sad that it took his death for this minor realization to take root, in me at least.
 

uncannymanny

Well-Known Member
Gold Supporter
SoSH Member
Jan 12, 2007
6,039
Boston --> NYC --> LA --> NYC
And for all of the chafing about Nick being unwilling to change with the times, there’s a flip side. To his credit, he never went down the hottakez route that so many others did (ahem Mazz). I’d take Nick over Tony or Shank any day.
 

drleather2001

given himself a skunk spot
SoSH Member
Jul 18, 2005
25,351
That sucks. Poor guy.

He printed and answered a question of mine in one of his mailbags back in the early 2000’s, which was the first time I ever had anything like that happen. It was a cool feeling and I never forgot it, and I always had a soft spot for the guy as a result.
 

mikeot

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 22, 2006
5,553
Very sad news from spring training, which is usually about hope and renewal.
RIP Nick.
 

Sampo Gida

lurker
Aug 7, 2010
5,006
What a shocker.

Havent read him much since the Globe went behind a paywall but sympathy for the family. I always enjoyed his columns on Sunday (my Monday) when I could read them.

Weeks away from 62 myself, which makes it a tad more unpleasant from a personal POV
 

jacklamabe65

A New Frontier butt boy
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
From a SoSH perspective, Nick was one of the members of the Boston press who pushed our original Win it For thread back in 2004. He emailed me several times during that momentous two-week period, and we maintained a friendly exchange ever since. Nick was so thrilled that the thread was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame that he mentioned it in his subsequent Sunday column the next week. An authentic gentleman who loved the game.
 

54thMA

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 15, 2012
5,638
Westwood MA
"One of the best afternoons I had following the 1986 Red Sox was the afternoon in Baltimore when a bunch of us drove up to Gettysburg.
After the tour, Nick Cafardo decided that, “General Sickles was the John McNamara of the Union army.”

This is hysterical. I will always remember Nick for this quote and whenever I think of him, I will think of his quote and laugh.

God's speed Nick.
 

edoug

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
1,996
From a SoSH perspective, Nick was one of the members of the Boston press who pushed our original Win it For thread back in 2004. He emailed me several times during that momentous two-week period, and we maintained a friendly exchange ever since. Nick was so thrilled that the thread was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame that he mentioned it in his subsequent Sunday column the next week. An authentic gentleman who loved the game.
"One of the best afternoons I had following the 1986 Red Sox was the afternoon in Baltimore when a bunch of us drove up to Gettysburg.
After the tour, Nick Cafardo decided that, “General Sickles was the John McNamara of the Union army.”

This is hysterical. I will always remember Nick for this quote and whenever I think of him, I will think of his quote and laugh.

God's speed Nick.
Great stuff, I'm envious of your experiences and memories.
 

Mystic Merlin

Member
SoSH Member
Sep 21, 2007
30,163
Hartford, CT
That sucks. Poor guy.

He printed and answered a question of mine in one of his mailbags back in the early 2000’s, which was the first time I ever had anything like that happen. It was a cool feeling and I never forgot it, and I always had a soft spot for the guy as a result.
Same.

I asked him circa ‘02 whether he thought the Pats could get Corey Dillon from Cincy. He, rightly at the time, said he didn’t see it happening.
 

RGREELEY33

Potty Mouth
Gold Supporter
SoSH Member
Nov 28, 2005
3,733
Orange County, CA
Apropos of nothing, I am saddened by this news.

We are all nothing but the experiences we had and the impacts we made, and Nick seems to have had a lot and made many. Rest in peace.
 

Ralphwiggum

Member
SoSH Member
Jun 27, 2012
5,049
Needham, MA
Man 62 is way too young.

I was not a fan of his recent work but I hope when my day comes I have as many people saying I was a good man as there are saying that about Nick today. Rest In Peace Nick.
 

Humphrey

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 3, 2010
713
We're all day to day, my friends. No Scott Boras up there in the sky giving us multi year deals, regretfully.
 

JimD

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 29, 2001
6,605
The tributes and stories pouring in are overwhelming and speak volumes about the man. I hope he knew before he passed how much he was truly appreciated by everyone.
 

terrynever

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 25, 2005
14,710
pawtucket
I can't think of a more perfect way to go than passing away while doing the thing you love. Thoughts and prayers to all those who loved him.
It was good that Nick was surrounded by friends at the end. The baseball beat is so demanding, especially on older folks. Rich Ashburn and Don Drysdale died in their hotel rooms. Harry Kalas died in his broadcast booth before a Phillies game in Washington. The road trips wear everyone down. I would guess Nick was one of the older baseball beat reporters.
Newspaper reporters used to have three deadlines. One for a pregame story, early edition: one as soon as the game ended, and then a rewrite with quotes maybe 30 minutes later. Those were stressful situations but nothing compared to the 24/7 deadline in existence since Twitter came into play. And stress can be a killer when people get older.
I wish someone like Chad Finn would write about the demands of modern sports journalism. It would explain a lot of things we complain about as daily readers.
 
Last edited:

Merkle's Boner

Well-Known Member
Gold Supporter
SoSH Member
Apr 24, 2011
2,231
Wow, Nick is bottom right? Who are the rest besides Shaugnessy?
Pretty sure Sean McAdam lower left, Steve Buckley in the middle, and I’m assuming the guy who tweeted it on the right.

Edit: I should add I’m pretty blown away by the reaction from everyone on social media. Nick lived his life the right way. Rest easy, kind sir.
 

Al Zarilla

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 8, 2005
48,863
San Andreas Fault
Nice tribute on MLB Network just now, 4 or 5 minutes. JP Morosi was the lead guy about it. I had no idea how much interaction there is between beat writers (is that what you’d call Nick?), and the more national guys like Gammons, Rosenthal, Lupica and Kurkjian. Apparently, they all knew and respected him.