Column: Nick Cafardo – journalist, baseball enthusiast and friend

Sports fans express condolences for the loss of a Boston sports journalist, Nick Cafardo on his last Twitter post. (Screenshot on Twitter by Aaron Ye/BU News Service)

By Rickie Houston
BU News Service

BOSTON — Though Nick Cafardo, a veteran Boston Globe baseball columnist who excelled in journalism and sports coverage, died last Thursday, his legacy lives on.

Cafardo collapsed Thursday, Feb. 21, outside of JetBlue Park, a Red Sox spring training stadium located in Fort Myers, Florida. Reports revealed the cause of death to be an embolism. He was 62.

His funeral services took place yesterday in Rockland, Massachusetts, and were reserved to Red Sox, Boston Globe and ESPN employees, according to a Globe internal email.

Cafardo got his start reporting for The Enterprise and covering sports for the Patriot Ledger. After joining the Globe in 1989, he continued his coverage of sports, writing mainly about the Red Sox, and even the Patriots in 2001.

He wrote about the Patriots for several years, however, before returning to Red Sox and Major League Baseball coverage.

In addition to numerous colleagues, his death has also affected many others, including Boston University faculty and students who admired Cafardo’s work.

Michael Holley, an NBC Sports Boston co-host and Boston University journalism professor, said he worked with Cafardo for 10 years.

“He would see the best in everybody,” Holley said. “He was always looking out for not only his colleagues, but he would reach out to young reporters, whether young reporters at the Globe or other papers.”

But Cafardo didn’t limit himself to writing. The same versatility he provided with his willingness to support other upcoming journalists intersected with his enthusiasm to contribute to different aspects of sports coverage.

In addition to his famous Sunday “On Baseball” column, he also occasionally contributed as an MLB analyst on several networks, including MLB Network and New England Sports Network (NESN).

Bayleigh Von Schneider, a Boston University graduate student studying screenwriting, said her overall love of baseball initially drew her to Cafardo’s work.

“Anytime I’d read something on the Boston Globe, it was pretty much Nick Cafardo, so that’s how I became familiar with the name,” Von Schneider said.

Cafardo’s genuine devotion to and love for baseball and sports coverage seemed to guide his approach to his work. He captured readers across the country and earned the respect of many, including his colleagues. He wasn’t only a reporter, he was reliable and he was a man of character.

“The reason I think a lot of people liked him, and were drawn to him, is because you could be yourself with Nick Cafardo,” Holley said. “He would do anything for you, and he would do anything for the Globe.”

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