Veteran Boston Globe baseball writer Nick Cafardo, who covered the Red Sox and whose leaguewide MLB notes columns were widely read, died Thursday after collapsing outside the Red Sox clubhouse while covering the spring training in Florida. He was 62.
The Boston Globe said in a statement that Cafardo reported to JetBlue Park in Fort Myers, Fla., on his day off when he appeared to have an embolism. The team’s medical staff responded quickly but was unable to revive him. The paper said Cafardo collapsed on the sidewalk between the ballpark and the batting cages, where the players were working out.
Cafardo jumped from The [Quincy] Patriot Ledger to the Boston Globe in 1989. He continued to cover the Red Sox before switching to the New England Patriots in time for the team’s first NFL championship in 2001 -- a win that spawned the franchise's current dynasty.
Cafardo returned to baseball and has covered the Red Sox and the major leagues for the past 15 years, writing a Sunday notes package and a column called "On Baseball" that kept New England's -- and the nation's -- fervent baseball fans in touch with their hometown team and rivals.
The baseball world mourned the news of Cafardo’s death on Thursday.
“Nick was one of the best people to ever walk through our doors — generous with his time and insights, immensely knowledgeable, deeply devoted to the Globe,” editor Brian McGrory said in a statement.
"For over three decades, Nick was a fixture at Fenway Park and throughout ballparks across the country. His coverage was as consistent as the game itself," the Red Sox said in a statement. "The Cafardo family will always be a part of the Boston baseball family."
Former New York Yankees star-turned broadcaster Alex Rodriguez said the “world is darker today without Nick Cafardo.”
Fellow baseball writer Ken Rosenthal tweeted: “Thinking of Nick, my heart goes out to his family, the Globe staff, the Red Sox beat writers and everyone else who had the good fortune to know him.”
"The Major League Baseball and sports journalism communities suffered a tremendous loss today," the Players Association said in a statement. "For more than three decades, Nick enlightened Boston sports fans with a rare blend of insight, wit and good humor. He leaves behind a legion of friends and admirers in press boxes, clubhouses and front offices throughout the game."
Cafardo also wrote books about baseball and the Patriots dynasty. He is survived by his wife Leeanne and children Ben and Emilee.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.