One of the first poems I remember reading in junior high school was John Updike's "Ex-Basketball Player." Updike, author of such classics as the Rabbit triology, THE WITCHES OF EASTWICK and its recently published sequel THE WIDOWS OF EASTWICK, has passed away from cancer at the age of 76.
Here is an obit from Kevin Roderick of LA OBSERVED: http://www.laobserved.com/archive/2009/01/john_updike_writer_was_76.php
Updike was a frequent contributor to THE NEW YORKER.
Here's an article he wrote on baseball legend Ted Williams' final game: