Ernie Banks was so good that he won back to back MVP awards while Willie Mays and Hank Aaron were in their prime. And as great a player as he was, he was an even better person. One of the all-time great people.
Who says athletes can’t or shouldn’t be role models? Those Cubs may not have won a Series but they won my loyalty and I will make my way back to Wrigley, wheelchair and all, when they make the Series. Ernie Banks will be in heaven’s box seats singing “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.”
When I first started following baseball ‘seriously’ (checking the daily boxes) “Bingo” Banks was the reigning NL MVP and was right there with Mays and Mantle as the most feared hitter in MLB. Even then he was beloved by all true baseball fans.
Like my boyhood hero Ralph Kiner he put up some amazing stats with little or no ‘protection’ from others in the lineup.
He lived a full, rich life far beyond his ‘three score and ten’. My only regret for him was that he did not live to see the Cubbies amazing assembly of young talent mature into a championship team.
If the ‘first pitch’ of the 2018 World Series falls from the sky every baseball fan on earth will know who threw it. Then, I hope they play two.
Oops, I forgot. They are playing two in Heaven today!
Ernie Banks was one of the classiest guys to ever put on the uniform…he’ll be missed!
Goodbye, Mr. Cub!
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