Nicholas D. Cafardo

  • Born: May 8, 1956
  • Died: February 21, 2019
  • Location: Plymouth, Massachusetts

Magoun-Biggins Funeral Home

135 Union Street
Rockland, MA 02370
Tel. (781) 878-1775

Tribute & Message From The Family

Nicholas Dominic Cafardo, a lifelong Massachusetts resident and a friend to all, passed away suddenly, on February 21, 2019, while working in Fort Myers, Fla. He is survived by his wife of 39 years Leeanne Mary (Wood) Cafardo, his son Benjamin, his daughter Emilee, his beloved grandchildren Annabella and Noah, and his brother Fred. Nick was 62.

Nick was born on May 8, 1956, in Weymouth, Mass. He was raised in Hanson, Mass., where he lived for more than 50 years of his life. In later years, he resided with Leeanne in Plymouth, Mass. Nick was raised by two Italian immigrants, his mother Adelina (Pizzi) Cafardo, a seamstress, and his father Nicola, a shoemaker, and they instilled in him the importance of family, decency and hard work. In his childhood years, Nick was also very close with his grandparents Giovannamaria and Federico Cafardo.

Nick attended Whitman-Hanson Regional High School, where he played saxophone in the school band, basketball and other sports. He then pursued a degree in journalism at Northeastern University, while ultimately graduating from Suffolk University. He is a member of the Whitman-Hanson Regional High School Hall of Fame and the recipient of the Suffolk University College of Communication and Journalism Alumni Award.

After college, Nick rose to local and national notoriety as a prominent sportswriter. It was a profession that he took tremendous pride in. His parents Adelina and Nicola spoke broken English, and Nick didn't learn the language until the sixth grade. It was the late start that he had learning the English language that made him love and appreciate it, work tirelessly at it, and ultimately propel him to make a successful career out of the written word.

Nick covered sports for The Brockton Enterprise and The Patriot Ledger, before joining The Boston Globe in 1989, where he worked for 30 years. He was considered one of the most prominent journalists covering Major League Baseball in the country. Nick documented baseball's most pressing and significant stories for three decades, including every Boston Red Sox World Series Championship of the 21st Century. He also covered the first three New England Patriots Super Bowl Championshipsduring a seven-year tenure covering the National Football League.

Nick swiftly made an impact on the local Boston sports scene upon his arrival at The Boston Globe and he was named Boston Magazine's Best Sportswriter in 1994. More recently, Nick was named the 2014 Massachusetts Sportswriter of the Year, and in 2017, was the recipient of the prestigious Dave O'Hara Award by the Boston Baseball Writers Association for his service to the profession. Nick regularly appeared on MLB Network, NESN and several other national and local media platforms and he wrote the popular Baseball Sunday Notes column in the Globe for the last 15 years, without ever missing a week.

Nick also authored five books, including "None But the Braves" and "Inside Pitch" with Tom Glavine, "The Impossible Team: The Worst to First Patriots' Super Bowl Season," "100 Things Red Sox Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die," "Boston Red Sox Yesterday & Today," and "If These Walls Could Talk: Stories From The Boston Red Sox Dugout, Locker Room, and Press Box," with Jerry Remy.

Despite Nick's high-profile career, he was a private, reserved, gentle man who enjoyed and cherished spending time with Leeanne, Benjamin and Emilee. As the kids were growing up, they took countless family vacations all around the U.S., but they all had a soft spot for Florida. In later years, Nick's most intense source of joy was the time he spent with Annabella and Noah. His grandchildren meant everything to him.

In addition to family and baseball, Nick loved music, including The Beatles, Steely Dan, Stevie Wonder, The Eagles and Journey. He often told the story of playing the saxophone in the Whitman-Hanson band alongside Steve Smith, who went on to become the drummer for the iconic band Journey.

Nick was proud of his Italian heritage and loved Italian food. It was not uncommon to see (and smell) rare and old cheeses in the refrigerator, and he loved dining at family-style Italian restaurants because they reminded him of his parents and brother. He was also affectionately considered a "coffee snob" who kept a list of his favorite coffee shops in MLB's American League. Nick had both a quick wit and a fun-loving personality. His children loved - and at times groaned - at his significant repertoire of "dad jokes." He was proud of his family and enjoyed the time he got to spend with his father-in-law George "Papa" Wood, his mother-in-law Barbara "Gubba" Wood his many nieces and nephews, sisters and brothers-in-law and the rest of his large family. He had many close friends and colleagues throughout baseball and media, and often told stories about the camaraderie they shared. He was respected by all and he had an uncommon way of making everyone feel special.

For his close family, friends and colleagues, he was known not as a sportswriter, but as Dad, Nick, or "Grand" by his grandchildren. His love, respect, loyalty, patience and love of family were his hallmarks. All of his wonderful attributes live on through his grandchildren Annabella and Noah. Nick was truly a "Grand" man and he will be missed endlessly.

Friends and loved ones are invited to celebrate Nick's life in The Magoun-Biggins Funeral Home, 135 Union St. Rockland MA, 02370 on Thursday from 5-8 PM.


Condolence & Memory Journal

Never Forgotten.Pete Frates will keep you company with the rest of the boys-so much baseball to talk about.Blessings today & always.

Posted by Julie Fusco - Zephyrhills, FL   December 14, 2019

Almost a year has past and Nick's Spink Award reminds me of the sad day of his death. I met Nick on a flight to Toronto a few years ago and he was the gentleman you would expect to meet by his writing and TV appearances. By far he was my favorite sports writer. Nick shared a story with me of a flight he took with Dan Shaughnessy to Cleveland. Apparently the aircraft took a steep dive and Dan was unable to fly again for a few months. I can relate Dan. You continue to be missed and my best to his family.

Posted by Larry Cann - Haverhill, MA   December 13, 2019

Posted by Larry Cann - Haverhill, MA   December 13, 2019


Dear Cafardo Family Rory and I wish to extend our condolences's to the Carfardo Family/Nick.he'll surely be missed very much.luv,faith/rory

Posted by faith/rory tobin/dockett - Newton Centre/brighton, MA   June 10, 2019

I only met and talked with Nick a few times but always enjoyed his company. I would to share this story of my last meeting with him. Every summer when the Patriots were stationed at Bryant College for training camp I would head down for a day to interview all the Boston College players either on the team or trying out as free agents for BC Eagle Action. This was when Nick was on the Patriots beat (late 90s, early 00s) and I would often chat with him about nothing in particular.

A few years later I was at the old Patriots Foxboro stadium to do a feature on Ty Law for Patriots Football Weekly. I had time to kill and went to wait in the make shift media room. Nick was the only one in there and was at the far side of the room. He looked up when I came in and I just said, "Hi, Nick". To my utmost surprise he stopped what he was immersed in, and walked all the way across the room to shake my hand, like I was someone of any importance!
20 years have gone by and I can still remember that like it was yesterday.
We swapped an occasional e-mail here and there and I faithfully read his Baseball Notes column every Sunday, but I never saw him again. Just a wonderful man who left us too darn soon. Rest in peace my friend.

Posted by Ron Marshall - Dudley, MA   March 12, 2019

Dear Leanne and Family,
I had the pleasure of knowing Nick since we worked at the Patriot Ledger over 30 years ago. He was a mentor and a mensch. Over the years we stayed in touch by occasional phone calls and in-game text messages. I last saw him out here in San Diego 3 years ago when he was here for the Winter Baseball Meetings. We had dinner with Sean MacAdam at Seasons 52. I was really looking forward to seeing him out here again when the Sox come to San Diego in August. He will be sorely missed! Heartfelt condolences to you all! - Larry Rosoff

Posted by A friend   March 09, 2019

I missed Nick when he left The Patriot Ledger 30 years ago for new opportunities at the Boston Globe. He was a colleague at the Ledger, where I enjoyed our friendship and reading his terrific brand of sports journalism. I ran into him many times when he was an established "Globie" and he was the same old Nick - a genuine smile, a soft-spoken gentle man who loved his job despite the crazy hours and the travel that took time away from precious family. He worked at his craft, and it showed. His Sunday baseball column was second to none. More significant, as a person he was second to none. He was universally respected and that rare individual about whom you could never say a bad word. Never, ever. I missed that man when he left the Ledger, and I surely miss him now.

Posted by Dick Trust - Scituate, MA   March 08, 2019

Nick your work at the Globe was wonderful and you were a better person RIP.

Posted by Tom Babcock - Dorchester, MA - Friend   March 02, 2019

I very much appreciated my friendship with Nick Cafardo. We had so many discussions about baseball, theRedSox and life.i saw him frequently on both coasts, Florida and he would needle me about my Red Sox fanaticism and would mention our work in resolving the 94-1995 strike in discussions and columns. A true friend to me since 86 or 87 , atrue gentlemen. I was privileged to see him develop into one of baseball's top writers .I extend my sincere condolences to his family
Bill Gould

Posted by Gould William - Stanford   March 01, 2019

We will miss you dearly, we are all still in shock you are no longer here. You were my second cousin, and although we didn't see each other much, we are still family. I will miss your knowledge of the game of baseball, it was second to none. You were so great on the on field pregame for the redsox on NESN, and I will miss that. May you rest in eternal peace, the world is darker without you in it.

Posted by Mark Chiaramonte - Bellingham, MA - Family   March 01, 2019

The sports world has lost a great man! Friend to all! My sincere sympathy to the whole family! He was truly loved especially here in Hanson!

Posted by Laura Paine - Hanson, MA - Acquaintance   February 28, 2019

Much love is wished to Nick's family, friends and colleagues,from a reader who much admired his excellence & kindness

Posted by Marisa Giuliani - East Greenwich, RI - Acquaintance   February 28, 2019

My thoughts and prayers are with The Cafardo family.. I always looked forward to his reports.. May he rest in peace.

Posted by Candy Martinelli - Millbury, MA - Acquaintance   February 28, 2019

Words cannot express the grief over Nick's loss. We go back a LONG way and can say confidently he didn't have an enemy. So sorry for the family - next stop Cooperstown

Posted by Mike Shalin - Wrentham, MA - Friend   February 28, 2019

Baseball has lost a great sportswriter & gentleman. Loved talking baseball with Nick@ JetBlue Park during Spring training. (especially about the Gedman years) My sincere sympathies to his family. Now he has the best seat in the yard with Frank,Ted & the Boys of Summer. Rest in Peace my friend. Julie Fusco RN

Posted by Julie Fusco - Zephyrhills, FL   February 28, 2019

A gentle giant in the sports world who will be greatly missed.....A fan

Posted by Janet Viggiano - Rocky Hill, CT - Friend   February 28, 2019

Gonna miss you! You were a wonderful writer!

Posted by Joseph Cormier - Chatsworth, CA - Friend   February 28, 2019

Thinking of Nick, his parents, his brother, his wife, his children, his grandchildren... such a beautiful fellow. Knew him growing up and in adult life had the chance to again interact with Nick and Fred. Authentic, tender, generous men. Wishing comfort to his family and friends on the loss of someone so lovely. Mary Croghan, Hanson neighbor and friend

Posted by Mary Croghan - East Hampton, NY - Neighbor   February 27, 2019

Dear Cafardo family,
A little different take on Nick; I also played the tenor sax (badly!) at WHRHS, and sat right next to Nick during his entire senior year, and I was a pip-squeak sophomore. I didn't have a good time in high school, and while I never confided at length any of my troubles to Nick during our year together playing sax in the band, he did sense that I was unhappy at times, and I can remember VIVIDLY how kind and joking he was to me for the entire year we were together. I even mentioned once to my wife years ago that there was a guy who had made it to the Boston Globe whom I actually had known decades earlier. I have NEVER forgotten his kindness to me, and from what I've read it appears he didn't lose one shred of his decency during his life. I am really saddened to hear of his passing, and my deepest thoughts to you and your family.
Sincerely! Steve Welch

Posted by A friend   February 27, 2019

My deepest condolences to the Cafardo family for your loss. Nick was a friend from working at Fenway Park. A wonderful and kind person who will truly be missed!

Posted by Dianne Stark - Mansfield, MA - Friend   February 27, 2019

Nick once left in the middle of a game in Anaheim to have an abscessed tooth pulled, then came back and finished covering the game. He once led a game story with, "The A's played like Fs" last night. He once forgot the key to his condo in spring training and had me break into the place because he was too embarrassed to call the property manager.
He once asked Sox reliever Rob Murphy, owner of several hundred thousand dollars worth of thoroughbreds, "Do you ever just take them out for a ride?" He didn't think there were enough Italians in the Hockey Hall of Fame, he selected awful restaurants to dine at even though he loved good food, and he liked the wrong kind of mustard.
We worked together, often side by side, for 32 years and there was never a day I wasn't happy to see him at the ballpark. I valued his friendship, insight, good humor and warm heart and would do anything - cover 81 day/night doubleheaders, eat a hot dog dripping with yellow mustard - to have him back. See you in extra innings, my friend.


Posted by A friend   February 27, 2019

So so sorry to the family for your loss. Paul Lukis

Posted by Paul Lukis - Hingham, MA   February 27, 2019

To all of Nick's Family,My heart, Prayers and many Tears go out to all of you to help you all find the strength to carry you through Nick's loss and the most difficult days ahead. Please know how much I respected and loved Nick over the last 30 years and way beyond baseball, as he was such a special friend in so many of life's daily values,....I will miss my dear friend Nicky C profoundly....May his essence, love and spirit bring you all the eventual comfort you deserve and the memories to heal in time...God Bless,Paul Ricciarini

Posted by Paul Ricciarini - Pittsfield, MA   February 27, 2019

Nick was a colleague, a mentor and most of all a friend. The Globe will continue to cover the Red Sox but it will never be quite the same without Nick. My condolences.

Posted by Peter Abraham - MA - Coworker   February 26, 2019

I will miss his columns and the baseball insite that he passed on. I met him once, late last season and asked if he would speak in Connecticut to our baseball group. He said he would. Sadly, we did not get to hear him and meet him. I will miss him.

Posted by Bob Frazee - PLAINVILLE, CT   February 26, 2019

Truly enjoyed Nick's appearances on sports programs, he seemed like a truly good person, rest in peace with THE LORD JESUS.

Posted by A friend   February 26, 2019

Leanne and family,
My sincere condolences to all of you. Leeann, although I did not know Nick personally I worked with your Dad George Wood at Hanson Printing many years ago. Your Dad always spoke very highly of Nick.
With sympathy
Andrea Brawders

Posted by Andrea Brawders - Stoughton, MA   February 26, 2019

Truly enjoyed Nick's columns and appearances with Jerry & Dave in the booth. Great man he will be missed.Prayers for Nick and family.

Posted by A friend   February 26, 2019

One of many at the Globe who considered Nick more than a colleague ... a treasured friend. My deepest sympathies to his family.

Posted by Marcia Dick - GEORGETOWN, MA - Friend   February 26, 2019

I open the globe sports every Sunday to the baseball section.All year long. This past Sunday it was not there. It brought tears to my eyes. This section was what I looked forward to. I love baseball. Nick loved baseball.I loved Nick as a writer and as a person. A couple years ago my wife and I were at an airport . Maybe Florida. I don't remember. But I spotted Nick and said to my wife there's Nick Cafardo. I was so excited it made my wife laugh. Our deepest condolences.

Posted by Robert K. - Lynnfield, MA   February 26, 2019

Cafardo Family - this is what a hero does. They don't play baseball or football for a few seasons and then drop out of the public eye, but they change their profession and the public impression of it with passion and devotion, year after year. Their bodies don't wear out from playing, but are worn by time and sometimes by the tides of fortune, much too soon.

I hope you can find moments of pure joy in memories of your beloved Nicholas. I wish I'd had the good luck to know him.

Sara Matthews
Plymouth, MA

Posted by Sara Matthews - Plymouth, MA - Acquaintance   February 26, 2019

I would like to send my condolences to Nick's family and all of his close colleagues in the business.
I got to know Nick when I became a Supervisor of Umpires for MLB and was always impressed by his fairness to umpires during difficult situations. I always enjoyed talking with him in the dining rooms at MLB parks before games.
Nick was always a gentleman and an asset to his profession.
Our prayers go out to the family.

Posted by Rich Garcia - Clearwater, FL   February 26, 2019

Cafardo Family

Although I did not know Nicholas, personally--I remember my families visits every Sunday to visit Giovannamaria and Federico Cafardo in Hanson. They were a wonderful family. I remember this family so vividly--I was a teen-ager and I loved our visits. They were so out-going and welcoming when we visited. Such pleasant memories. We had about 2 or 3 families that lived on that street that were related to my Father. I believe it was Pleasant Street.

I am so sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

God Bless!
Irene (Petrino) Lacina

Posted by Irene (Petrino) Lacina - Sagamore Beach, MA   February 26, 2019

dedicated to his profession and his family.
nick went from weekends at the enterprise to a front row seat at all major sporting events.
may his memory be eternal.

bill alex,brockton

Posted by A friend   February 25, 2019

Fred, I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your brother, Nick. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

Posted by Marie Rock - Sudbury, MA - Classmate   February 25, 2019

Sorry for your loss. Although I personally didn't know Nick personally he always had a smile on his face when I'd see him outside Fenway when collecting autographs. I loved his baseball insight from his well written articles to his analysis during Trade Deadline specials on NESN. All of us Boston sports fan had a sinking feeling learning of Nicks passing because not only was he one of Boston's greatest sports writers but one hell of a guy. RIP Nick, Sox fans will always love and miss you.

Posted by Steve Mason - Canton, MA   February 25, 2019

Cafardo Family,
I had the pleasure of meeting Nick at JFK airport coming back home to Boston. I let him know that his Sunday Baseball Notes was always my first reading on any Sunday morning. After talking for a few minutes, I came to learn that Nick's parents were from the same paese (village)that my mother came from, Miranda, Isernia. What a small world indeed.
Please accept my deepest condolences and prayers for the untimely passing of your husband, dad and grandad.


Posted by Vincent Cutone - Stoneham, MA   February 25, 2019

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