No doubt moved to action by a public effort launched by the unlikely troika of Reverend Jesse Jackson, WSCR’s Mike North and North’s station-mate, Mike Murphy, the Cubs have decided to erect a statue of Ernie Banks
Mr. Cub is one of the most beloved and historically significant athletes in the city’s history, and per this story in the Chicago Tribune
and a phone interview with Ron Santo that played on WGN Radio before Tuesday night’s game in San Diego, it’s apparent that Banks couldn’t be more thrilled.
In this regard, I think Ernie is a bigger man than most; I know he’s a bigger man than me. I have always been disgusted that the Cubs chose to honor Harry Caray’s carnival act with a statue near the corner of Addison and Sheffield—not to mention his caricature above the press box and the “Take Me Out To The Ballgame” abomination that John McDonough seems proud to extend indefinitely—before they did anything meaningful and permanent for Banks beyond retiring his jersey. (Jack Brickhouse, too, contributed much, much more to the richness of the Cubs franchise than Caray, but that’s a rant for another day.)
If Ernie is happy, then I am happy, too. (I’m ignoring for now McDonough’s ominous warning, reported by Fred Mitchell in the Tribune
, that the change in Cub ownership could delay the project.)
Congratulations, #14. Those of us who saw you play were fortunate. Those who didn’t missed someone special.