Saturday, January 24, 2015

Ernie Banks (1931-2015)

Baseball, sports, and America are a little sadder and darker tonight with the word that the beloved "Mr. Cub" has died.

Ernie Banks was 83.

He put the phrase "Let's play two!" into our national psyche, even if you never knew where that came from.

Baseball was, to him, a great game that brightened his always-sunny outlook.

He could play though. A two-time MVP, he hit 512 home runs, putting up offensive numbers that shortstops weren't supposed to.

He was only the eighth player to surpass 500 home runs.

He led often dreadful Cubs teams through day games at Wrigley Field with an attitude that was happy to be there, and that was a good thing as he would never know a playoff game.

He was inducted into the Hall of Fame

Plus he was my Facebook friend. Yes. You read that correctly.

Find me someone who didn't like Ernie Banks. I'm not sure I'll want to know that person.

Watch him hit home runs number 498, 499, and 500. Such a graceful swing. He runs the bases with his head down. No showmanship.

Man. Somewhere it is a beautiful day. Let's play two, indeed.

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