In Memoriam: I'll Miss You, Ernie, Mr. Cub


To me, you were, like beer and franks,

The game of baseball,  Mr. Banks.

Your epitaph? I’d fill the blanks

With “Let’s play two!” and  love and thanks.

Filed under: baseball

Tags: Ernie Banks


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  • I'll engage in some ee cummings free verse and slam the Cubs bloggers at the same time (since no point doing it to their faces).

    they didn't see ernie play.

    you and I did.

    we even ate a santo's pro pizza

    or used it as a handwarmer.

    what's called baseball now isn't.

    maybe it should be played on the field

    instead of it being some computer fantasy league.

    Come to think about it, ee was before his time. I remember commenting on some "shiftless" typists in the transcription department. now it is called a tweet.

  • In reply to jack:

    Sorry, I lied about or changed my intent in the parenthetical phrase. The rest holds, though.

  • I like your attempt at a second cummings. And I agree about baseball by the numbers. It does take a lot of the fun that used to be in the game. I indeed had the privilege of seeing him play. What a player! What a classic swing!

    Twitter: literature for the short-attention-span generation. Transient and trivial.

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    We agree on the ADHD generation. That's also messing with baseball, although replay is sending it in the other direction.

    Besides that, the fun of it was sitting in the stands, seeing that the grass actually looked greener in the park, and getting the bag of peanuts and leaving the shells on the floor.* I thought that the sign under the scoreboard (when it was only yellow lights) was a travesty, but at least its only purpose then was to welcome our group to the park.

    While the players were indentured servants (then and now) it sure wasn't then (as I wrote there) "keeping Ernie on the Monarchs for 9 games, and then trading him for 3 A prospects." If it was anything controversial then, it was that Banks was the first Black Cub (although by the time I noted, there were also Billy Williams and Fergy Jenkins) and Minnie Minoso was the first Cuban Sox. But all I knew is that they were good players.

    Finally, I would collect baseball cards, but only noted that there were stats on the back. I would get teed that I couldn't get any Sox or Cubs ones, and gave my sisters the gum. Also, all the callers on radio said that Ernie would autograph anything and ask about your family. Not the garbage now of some athlete sitting for some memorabilia company signing 1000 pictures at $1000/each.
    *Which reminds me that now there are signs, like at the park district, of "nut free zones."

  • Great posts guys. Thanx.

    I met Mr. Banks once, down at the three hole golf course that used to be down town off Lake Shore drive. I told my girlfriend that he was one of the old cubs that idolized as a kid. She then arranged for me to shake his hand. He was extremely nice and later laughed when he saw me hacking at the ball like I was chopping wood.

    He kept telling me how beautiful my girlfriend was and then told me I should marry her. I didn't. Too young and dumb, and that's 'the one that got away.'

  • In reply to 4zen:

    And did he say, 'let's play three"?

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    Nobody had that endurance, not even Mr. Cub.

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