January 23, 2015

RIP Ernie Banks

The man known as "Mr Cub", Ernie Banks, passed away this evening.  He was just short of his 84th birthday.

He joined the Cubs in 1953, becoming the team's first black player.  He played every game of his career with the Northsiders, over 2500 and hitting 512 home runs along the way.  He was the first National League player to win back-to-back MVP awards, 1958 and 1959.  He retired in 1971, and was elected into the Hall of Fame in 1977.

I met Ernie Banks once.  No, that makes it sound like it was more intimate than it really was.  I attended a Cubs game and he was riding a golf cart up one of the ramps in the stadium, obviously headed for a luxury box or the broadcasting area or whatever.  As he approached, I waved and said "Good day, Ernie?"  The permanent smile on his face got even larger than normal and he said "Great day!" and high-fived me as he rode by.  From all reports, that wasn't artifice.  For Ernie Banks, every day was a great day.  Cub fans, and baseball fans everywhere, have lost a paragon of the sport.  The world is a lesser place without him in it.

Let's play two.

Posted by: Wonderduck at 11:03 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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1 Awww, man.  Very sad.

Posted by: Ben at January 24, 2015 01:00 AM (DRaH+)

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