HERO

I never thought Ernie Banks passing would affect me like this. I'm not the type to be openly weeping but I am. Listening to the radio and hearing story after story of people that wanted to share their personal stories of meeting Ernie and the uplifting impact he had on everyone he touched. We are all little kids somewhere inside and Ernie was magic when it came to Cub fans. He was Chicago's treasure from the 1950's to the present. After his career, he became one of the greatest baseball Ambassadors, leading to him receiving the in 2013. Mr. Cub was a wonderful ballplayer and a two time MVP shortstop. He was a hitter who had that and power that came from his wrists.  Ernie was only the 7th player to hit 500 homers. He is one of the few that was a Cub his entire 19 season career which is itself a rarity. Of course, the Wrigley management was a part of that. Arizona Phil, in one of (from 1-31-10) tells of several inflection points where the Cubs could have moved him, particularly when Leo Durocher was managing.

Leo also desperately wanted to get rid of Ernie Banks, but Phil Wrigley would NEVER agree to trade Ern. That was the one thing that Leo wanted that he couldn’t get. He could not get rid of Ernie Banks. Leo could not stand Ernie’s cheerfulness, optimism, and “let’s play two!” good fellowship, believing that nice guys like Ernie were losers, and Leo absolutely HATED losers.

Baseball is a team sport. Durocher was an often mean spirited man and was the antithesis to Ernie's love for people. Which one makes the  world become a better place? Joe Maddon responds to this in a better way, "Never let the pressure, exceed the pleasure."

Ernie came to the Majors in an era that brought breakthrough racial change to American society and he was a constant positive, always remaining upbeat in a time when life brought race related challenges every day. Ernie represented one of the perfect solutions to what Americans needed to overcome. Never a hot headed or angry man, everyone knew him as the eternal optimist ("the Cubs will be fine in sixty-nine"), he brought to so many Cub fans a philosophy that keeps us going in the face of what seems to be a never-ending wait for our time to get the brass ring.  I think many of us wanted to see Ernie's response to that day when the Cubs win the World Series. Now we will just have to imagine how he reacts, seated in the front row, from heaven above.

Have at it, by adding your own memories of Mr. Cub, as we celebrate his life. My favorite personal encounter with Ernie in 1979,  is in the following TCR link.

Comments

Well Done Dr. Hecht. I did not think this would affect me like this is with tears rolling down my cheeks as I listen to the radio. As twcoffee said earlier, it is as well a piece of my childhood - a big piece - is gone. I had the chance to "meet" him at the U.S. Open at Medinah, when he and Billy Williams stopped next to my brother and I so we said hello. What a nice man. But I was fortunate enough, as Joe is, to have seen Ernie play at the Friendly Confines, attend double-headers, and see many game winning hits delivered by him with Brickhouse screaming on WGN. So sad he never tasted the thrill of a World Series. Oh well - may he and Ron have the chance to participate from wherever they are. R.I.P. Ernie! Let's Play Two!

One of the callers on the ESPN radio show this morning with Fred Huber/Mike Murphy suggested a great idea. They need to change the schedule on one Sunday every season, to a "true" doubleheader. The classic doubleheader, two games for the price of one (not the day/night version). Dedicate it to Ernie Banks. Murph suggested it be a league wide event in Ernie's memory. I think that has a chance of happening and would be a wonderful tribute to Let's play two.

As long as everyone is willing to pay 200% ticket prices it could definitely happen. =/

Heh, be a lot of issues getting it approved by league and players. Would need to do it on weekend wrapped around a Thursday/Monday day off for both teams so they don't have to waste that emergency call-up on purpose.

Can't see owners going for it and losing revenue on a game, could see Cubs doing it once a year in April or Sept when attendance is usually lower, although hopefully not much longer in Sept.

link to Arizona Phil's January 2010 full post now available. Sit back, put your feet up, open a cool one and Don't forget to search using "Ernie" http://www.thecubreporter.com/comment/153017#...

one more Ernie/Wrigley/Cubs tribute https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M6z_6uGo63E

Mickey Mantle vs Ernie Banks on Home Run Derby "It's a home run or nothin'" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lWD9w5PyzCM Ernie beats Gil Hodges... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RXVUmemkPXI and Ernie vs Jackie Jensen... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZnCETksd_M

Thanks for the write-up Doc. Glad someone with a bit more personal connection got to do it. I do have a signed Ernie Banks/Sammy Sosa ball my wife bought me which I'll always cherish. 

otherwise all my Ernie memories are rain delay theater on WGN. Must have seen that 500th HR call a couple dozen times.

"otherwise all my Ernie memories are rain delay theater on WGN." same. as much as i've enjoyed reading about ernie and watching old footage over the years, i've barely seen the guy play aside from some obvious highlights. i guess it says a lot about ernie that i've seen at least 10x more footage of him talking or others talking glowingly about him even though he's a HOF player with enough footage to speak for itself.

Good stuff, Doc. Thanks for the memories...

My Ernie story: ten years ago, my son (age 7) and I were waiting for a table at a restaurant. Ernie was chatting with people at the bar. When the people left, my son asked if I thought it would be OK for him to go and say hello. I said yes, Ernie seemed to be enjoying talking with people. So, my son goes over, Ernie asks him if he plays baseball and what position, then asks my son to show him his pitching motion. My son does, with great earnestness, and Ernie nods. "OK, now show me your left-handed pitching motion." My son tries and nearly falls over. Big laugh and a slap on the back from Ernie; big laugh and a lifelong memory for my son. He was a really nice man who knew what it meant to be a baseball hero to a kid. We could use a lot more like him. RIP #14.

Phil Rogers article mostly on topics with Ernie talking http://m.cubs.mlb.com/news/article/107338920/...

doug glanville weighs in on ernie... http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/12221497/wh...

Doug Glanville is a truly wonderful writer.
His smile told that story. It made me not worry. It made me proud, and maybe most importantly, it made me see baseball as being one of our greatest assets. And that even when race matters, we still have the power to encourage our country to live out its best, to be bigger than race. Ernie Banks always knew we would ultimately get to a place of harmony, and amazingly, Mr. Cub didn't even have to say a word for you to understand that. He made you feel it. Always.

Barry Rozner helped Ernie write his speech for his own statue unveiling. It holds up well. http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20150124/s...

I'm getting weird formatting on main page again. Odd.

Getting the formatting thing again (Firefox) both on the main page and now (newly) in the articles and comments too. Just FYI! Thanks for all the trouble-shooting time you put into this site in addition to writing, editing, etc., Rob.

It looks fine for me in Chrome (logged in and logged out, home page and article pages).

It's fine now. Don't know if it was just a blip or what. Could've been something with my cache, I suppose.

Mine is working now too. Had same issue as Charlie earlier this morning.

http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2015/01/25/...

New commish suggests he'd be all for banning defensive shifts. As Keith Law said, he's gonna ban creativity? How would you even enforce that?

meh...players and teams will adjust on their own

how in the hell...what the...dude... c'mon new commish. let's not start out like this.

hard to believe I would miss Bud, especially after one day.

... what are his qualifications again?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rob_Manfred he's got the cred...but him coming out swinging this early with something so radical causes one to pause. that said, i don't think the owners or player's reps would let him get away with something like this. it's the solution to a problem no one's complaining about...and those that do care spend most of the time blaming the batter for not tapping one into the hole rather than the D ruining what the batter wants to do. hell, even on the "delay of game" angle it's barely a blip compared to other issues which can be addressed without heavily effecting the strategy of the game.

"The third series of changes I'm considering are a set of tiered monetary fines for any winners of Gold Glove awards or players who perform at least one standard deviation above average in UZR. I mean, I initially pitched the idea of jail time, but I'm told that's not in my power."

1- move the fences in 100ft 2- aluminum bats 3- multi-ball

holy hell...when I posted that I hadn't watched the video clip yet...man, he doubles down on it even after Ravech totally calls him on it.

That would just be stupid.

http://triblive.com/sports/pirates/6496075-74...

old story, but someone timed how much time batters spend outside the box, 40 minutes of a game

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball... Mark Bogen, Banks family attorney video. Statement says Ernie Banks was a chaplain and married Sean Marshall!

A nice assortment of pictures of Ernie from the Indianapolis Star. Including one of Gil Hodges posing with Ernie. Also a pic of him eating cake after signing a $65K contract and a pic of him posing with Derek Jeter. http://www.indystar.com/picture-gallery/sport...

Duke Snider posing with Ernie

oops, been a long weekend.

yup, great piece you wrote.

Baez played 2B, went 2-4 with a double, rbi, run, walk and K after Maddon told him to relax (see Muskat article). Santurice leads 3-2 in a best of 7 series. http://m.cubs.mlb.com/news/article/107425988/... Boxscore: http://mlb.mlb.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?gid=2...

The Maddonini WAR factor!

Wins Above Renteria!

Maddon told the young infielder he wanted to "see him smile."
Bad English, "When I See You Smile" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oaGt3FJFZPA

This video has lyrics, so if you feel inclined, you can sing along.

Da Bears: nice interview with Accorsi on the hiring process inspires no small amount of confidence for me: http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/football...

Excerpt from a Fred Mitchell article in today's Tribune...Joey Banks, is one of his twin sons.
While none of Banks’ children was in attendance at the news conference Sunday, one of his sons, Joey Banks, was contacted by the Tribune by phone. “I realized that people loved him,” the 55-year-old California resident said. “I didn’t know what his contributions were to the team. It was something I didn’t really get. I realized that he was consistent. He was special, and people treated him kind of like that.” Banks declined to discuss the specifics of his father’s health but said he spoke with his father regularly and that the frequency of the calls had decreased in recent months. Increasingly, Joey Banks said, he would call his father and leave a message. “That became more frequent, and that worried me,” Joey Banks said. “He used to call me every Sunday.” In recent months, Ernie Banks had a “health care person” living with him to ensure he took his medication and ate correctly, Joey Banks said. Joey Banks, a truck driver, said he last spoke with his father about 10 days ago and he had grown concerned about his father’s health in recent weeks. His father would answer the phone, Joey Banks said, but then he handed the phone over to someone else. “He didn’t speak very long,” Joey Banks recalled. He said he last saw his father in June, at an Ernie Banks bobblehead night at Wrigley Field.

My Ernie story is not special but part of it remains really vivid. I was maybe 5-6 and I don't even recall why, or where, it happened, but I was introduced to him and Jack Brickhouse, who both signed a copy of Ernie's book they did together. (Years later, like an idiot, I tore the autographs out of the book to put with other autographs.) I don't know if I realized who they were, but I do know that I was in awe. And then Ernie left and I looked out the front of the building, and Ernie waved to me from his car. I can see that part of as if it happened yesterday.

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  • Cubster 21 min 6 sec ago (view)

    "in normal times..."

    It was the burst of times, it was the worst of times.

     

  • Cubster 30 min 50 sec ago (view)

    "Setting aside how stupid it is for fans to blame players when owners are all so much more..."

    I blame Pete Ricketts

     

  • crunch 11 hours 3 min ago (view)

    i can't believe this kind of stuff is what we're talking about 2 months into the 2020 season...i can't believe a lot of stuff about 2020 outside of the game, too.

     

  • crunch 15 hours 22 min ago (view)

    contract rights are retained by the team.

    in normal times this keeps labor relations between employer and player not too volitile with only a handful of player/owner issues.  in times like this you see a system that was not designed for an event like this.

    some owners are being responsible over the players who's contracts they control while other owners make us realize why the guillotine was occsasionally popular during revoltutions/revolts.

     

  • Jackstraw 15 hours 49 min ago (view)

    So they are all free agents?  Or still under contract and not getting paid?  I'm sure AZ Phil or someone else has covered this but I haven't been keeping up with all the fine points of baseball's problems recently.

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 18 hours 22 min ago (view)

    Manfred is such a dreadful commissioner. It's his job to walk a fine line and maintain peace in labor relations. Instead he lets the owners do whatever they want.

    Cannot wait for a long, bitter strike after 2021. And for the owners to ultimately turn plenty of fan sentiment against players.

     

  • crunch 1 day 10 hours ago (view)

    "The A's told their minor leaguers Tuesday that they will not continue to pay them their current salary of $400 per week beyond May 31."

    classy.  absolute class act stuff right there.

     

  • crunch 1 day 12 hours ago (view)

    Evan Drellich @EvanDrellich
    The MLBPA is very disappointed with MLB’s economic proposal today, source tells me and @Ken_Rosenthal, calling additional cuts proposed “massive." League offered to share more playoff revenue, but on balance, those dollars are small compared to what players give up, PA believes.

     

  • crunch 1 day 14 hours ago (view)

    A's are furloughing nearly all of their staff through the entire organization...including scouts, which make a shockingly low amount of money.

    the A's are owned by a multi-billionaire who inherited his loot from dad (founder of The Gap)...and him + family spent $10m trying to keep Obama from getting a 2nd term, which i assume is their idea of a good investment in their community...whereas paying loyal employees for years/decades for a few months is...well...*shrug*

     

  • Ryno 1 day 21 hours ago (view)

    Depends on who you are.

     

  • Ryno 1 day 21 hours ago (view)

    Sorry--Just needed to experience a little normalcy.

     

  • Ryno 1 day 21 hours ago (view)

    That was the dumbest lineup I've ever seen.

     

  • Hagsag 2 days 53 min ago (view)

    True!

     

  • Cubster 2 days 18 hours ago (view)

    https://twitter.com/just1deeva/status/1245654487026397184?s=21

    speaking of Trump's trained rats...

     

  • Hagsag 3 days 1 hour ago (view)

    Cubster, your comments about President Bone Spurs could not be more accurate. Thanks for posting!

     

  • BobbyD 3 days 12 hours ago (view)

    Cubster: I agree with your comments, save one. That the president is "leading" America. He couldn't lead a pack of rats to a NYC dumpster on an August afternoon. The "man" is a f'ing disgrace.