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Nicholas D. Cafardo

Obituary for Nicholas D. Cafardo

May 8, 1956 - February 21, 2019
Plymouth, Massachusetts | Age 62


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.

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Magoun-Biggins Funeral Home

135 Union Street
Rockland, MA 02370
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