As many of you already know, Ernie Banks, Mr. Cub passed away last night. Andy and Anno already wrote about him and you guys should check it out, but I wanted to make sure to get on here and express my feelings as well.
I didn’t have the privilege to watch him play, but like all Cubs fans that didn’t, we still know the stories, we’ve seen video and we know the stats. Ernie Banks was more than a great player though, he was a great human being. A testament of that is the outpouring of love and support that is being expressed from fans, all MLB teams, players, politicians, other Chicago teams and even athletes from other sports. Mr. Banks touched and inspired so many. He was a pioneer on and off the field. This was a man who transcended an individual club. I had the honor of having a private lunch with Billy Williams at Wrigley Field last summer and we talked about baseball, the ’69 team, Santo and Banks. The way he expressed himself about those two was very touching and great to hear. He told me that what he loved most about Banks is that he wasn’t selfish, he was always looking to help others and never thought about himself as someone too special. He was always so thankful and saw it as a blessing that he got to do what he loved day in and day out, the money that they got was just extra. I think most of those players felt the same way. Williams also told me that Banks was the best teammate he ever had.
I remember five years ago when Ron Santo passed away; that was one of the hardest days of my life. Ron Santo was and is someone that I love and look up to. This is very similar, this hurts just as much. I never got the honor to meet them and tell them how much they meant to me and now my two idols are gone. But what hurts me the most is that they won’t be here to see what our beloved Cubs are about to do. Although, I do know they will be watching down together.
One of the things that Banks said that most stuck with me is to be satisfied. That if you’re satisfied, you would be a much happier person. So many say: don’t be satisfied, always push and want more but that doesn’t bring you happiness. Banks always had a smile on his face and the way that Banks lived showed how truly happy and grateful he was. That is what I think all of us want; to be happy and content with your lives. I want to take that enthusiasm of Ernie Banks and incorporate it into my own life.
Ernie Banks is gone but the legacy that he left in each of us will live on forever.
“It’s a beautiful day for a ballgame… Let’s play two!”
We’re gonna miss you, Mr. Cub. Give Ronnie a big hug for me.