Somehow, thanks to my slower-than-a-tortoise pace in getting some research articles written for posting here, this is post #14 for this blog. The previous post focused on the last #14 for Chicago’s South Siders. Yet, for many of the North Side partisans, #14 will always be associated with Ernest Banks.
Needless to say, his death was a surprise.
Perhaps the defining characteristic of a Cubs fan is his or her boundless optimism that, some day, some way, some how, their beloved nine will find a way to win the last game played in October. It comes as no surprise that their most beloved players share this trait, and the moniker “Mr. Cub” was bestowed on the man who radiated that hope each and every day since September 17, 1953.
For someone born well after Ernie Banks stopped playing, most memories of the man come from replays and interactions with him as an ambassador for his beloved Cubs. Perhaps it is fitting, then, that a song at a concert epitomizes the man for me.
I’m a White Sox fan. I still played it twice.
Rest in peace, Ernie.