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Ernie Banks “Mr. Cub”

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kanukster's loves8 of 591985 - U.S. Mint Set Token - Philadelphia"Yellow Dog" Derrick Lantern
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    Posted 7 years ago

    rniederman
    (323 items)

    I grew up on baseball as a Cubs fan. Visits to Wrigley field were special especially when watching games on crisp sunny afternoons from the stadium’s famous bleachers. (Wrigley didn’t have lights back then.) Nearly fifteen years ago, as my son was discovering baseball cards, he asked me about my favorite player. “Ernie Banks” was my immediate reply ... as I recall, it was more of a reflex response than anything.

    Sadly Ernie Banks, two-time National League MVP, Hall of Famer and winner of the Presidential Medal of Freedom passed away last week at the age of 83.

    “Mr. Cub” was a rare baseball icon known for his optimism, playing with a smile on his face and saying “Let’s Play Two!” His Hall of Fame career started in the Negro leagues and in 1953 he joined the Cubs as their first colored player just six years after Jackie Robinson broke baseball’s colored barrier. His NL MVP status is somewhat ironic given that the Cubs have a pretty dismal record ... their last World Series win was in 1908. (Their last appearance was in 1945.)

    Two years ago, while accompanying my son to the National Sports Card Convention in Chicago, I finally met Mr. Cub as he signed autographs for my son (second picture). There was no pretentiousness ... friendliness simply radiated from the man. Later my son gave me the Topps card shown here. (Of course, the autographed cards stayed in his collection.)

    In an article about Ernie Banks appearing in USA Today (January 29), Paul White wrote; “But being in Wrigley meant you looked for Ernie, as much a constant as the ivy on the outfield wall.”

    Yep ... that sums it up.

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    Comments

    1. aghcollect aghcollect, 7 years ago
      Really appreciate this post - he signed my glove in 1971 when I was about 9 years old. He was the first base coach at the time and we were conveniently seated behind the dugout on the first base side. Unfortunately, I don't have my glove anymore but the memory will last forever. RIP Mr Cub.
    2. rniederman rniederman, 7 years ago
      Thanks, agh!
    3. rniederman rniederman, 7 years ago
      Thanks!
      Manikin
      Jewels
    4. rniederman rniederman, 7 years ago
      Hi eye ... thanks! About your question ... technically, I wasn't a Northsider, but grew up in the Northern suburbs.
    5. SEAN68 SEAN68, 7 years ago
      this is just amazing and very very cool!!!
    6. rniederman rniederman, 7 years ago
      Thanks, kanukster!
    7. rniederman rniederman, 7 years ago
      Thanks, Michael!
    8. rniederman rniederman, 7 years ago
      Thanks, Sean!
    9. SEAN68 SEAN68, 7 years ago
      Your welcome Rob!!!
    10. rniederman rniederman, 7 years ago
      Thanks, vetraio50!
    11. Trey Trey, 7 years ago
      Very cool:)
    12. rniederman rniederman, 7 years ago
      Thanks, Trey!
    13. rniederman rniederman, 6 years ago
      Thanks, whitman75!
    14. rniederman rniederman, 6 years ago
      Thanks, realartnoprints!
    15. rniederman rniederman, 5 years ago
      Thanks, Caperkid!
    16. rniederman rniederman, 5 years ago
      CONGRATS to the CUBS! NLCS champs ... the goat curse is lifted! And Ernie Banks smiles! My childhood team comes through!
    17. scottvez scottvez, 5 years ago
      GO CUBS GO!

      scott
    18. rniederman rniederman, 5 years ago
      Thanks!
      Caperkid
      AutoPinback64
      Thomas
      Scott
    19. rniederman rniederman, 5 years ago
      Thanks, Rob (bobby725)! It's going to be a good series this year. I'm going to Game 3 with my son. - Rob

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