Tom Brady is leaving the New England Patriots. It strikes me as his Ted Williams moment.
Williams, for those who don't pay much attention to baseball, is perhaps the greatest hitter of all time. A perennial question for baseball cognoscenti is just how many home runs would he have hit if he hadn't given up two seasons at the height of his career to join the Marine Corps in World War II, and then give up two more to fly as John Glenn's wingman in Korea.
Williams was a legend in Boston by the end of his career, and ended his playing days with a Hallmark moment, hitting a home run in his last at-bat. Always touchy with the fans, he refused to come out of the dugout to tip his hat to the standing ovation - despite pleas from his teammates, the other team's players, and even the umpires. John Updike penned some of the most memorable words written about baseball for this moment: The Gods do not answer fan mail.
I'm frankly very surprised that Brady is leaving the Pats. He's played his entire career there, a career that has made him a wealthy man.* I'm flabbergasted that he isn't playing out his last season where he has had so much success for so many years. Then again, Williams wouldn't tip his cap to the crowd.
* As it turns out, Mrs. Tom Brady - better known as supermodel Giselle Bundschen - is worth twice what Brady is, so whatever extra cash Brady will get from his next team will be rounding error for his fortune.