An Ernie Banks Day Will Help Bring Smiles to the Game as Big as His

“You must try to generate happiness within yourself. If you aren’t happy in one place, chances are you won’t be happy anyplace.” – Ernie Banks Sadly, the man who embodied an entire franchise, who represented the team and personified the Cubby Way, took his final at bat on Friday, January  23. It’s ironic that the thing he is known the most for, is the thing that ultimately gave out. His heart was bigger than the city of Chicago and he tried to share his youthful optimism for the game he loved with everyone he met and with every interview he gave. Alas, that heart, the one he gave to the city and to the fans and to the Chicago Cubs gave out and took its final curtain call, leaving a city and fan base in mourning. The Chicago Cubs have been around for 145 years and have had thousands of players, and of those thousands of players, 40 of them have been inducted into baseball’s Hall of Fame. Ernie was, of course, elected to baseball’s hall of fame. He finished his career with 512 home runs, 14 All Star Games and two National League MVPs. He wore his heart on the field and gave his off the field and with that he earned the nickname that thousands of ball players failed to earn before him. The dominant players of the early 1900s couldn’t get it. The World Series players of the 40s couldn’t grab it and there will be no one who could ever fill it. Mr. Cub.   If you think about it, no man has ever become their franchise’s...

This Old Hall of Famer Cub

“I know getting inducted into the Hall of Fame had to be something, but that flag is going to hanging there after everybody is gone.” Ron Santo on getting his number retired by the Cubs I started following baseball as soon as I can remember. It was always on the radio. It was always on the TV. I would stay with my friend Chris from time to time and his dad would be watching the Cubs game with the TV volume all the way down and the radio volume up. He did this to get away from Harry Caray. Yes, Harry was an institution, but he was annoying as hell. I followed his dad’s lead and would often times listen to the radio if Harry was on. I came accustomed to listening to the games on the radio. I enjoyed them. They particularly became interesting in 1990. That year, three men joined the radio booth and two of them went on to represent the cubs. The other is a small little douche who doesn’t know how to spell his name and believes that Cubs fans are the worst in all of baseball. Ron Santo was part of that team. It was clear to me, even as a 10 year old, that this guy loved the Cubs and didn’t care what he said, as long as he got to talk baseball and support the Cubs. How awesome was that to hear as a youngster, getting involved in a game you love? To hear a grown man be as enthusiastic as you were. To hear him complain about the umps or...

Grip it and Rip it

When i was a little boy I really enjoyed watching grown men play with balls. Long hard sticks and balls. I continued to enjoy that through high school. I even dabbled in playing with balls and hard sticks then. Though, I didn’t play with them anymore in my 20s, I still would run at the chance to watch this. Now in my 30s, the desire to watch these grown ass men swing their long, hard sticks around has only intensified. I would give anything to play with them. I grew up with baseball. It was always around me. I had the (mis)fortune of growing up a Cubs fan. As far as I can remember, I would watch the Cubs every time they were on TV. It used to be WGN, now it’s Comcast. Where ever they are, I’ll find a way. I don’t remember my first game, but I remember the last and I remember a few in between. I have seen some amazing things at the ball park. I have seen hall of famers play for the Cubs. Ryne Sandberg was my favorite player. Despite what Joe Morgan says, Sandberg is the greatest second basemen to have played the game. He had the combination of power, average and phenomenal defense, all the while playing with a smile and workman like attitude. He retired in 1997. There was a kid who came up in 1998 that quickly filled the void. He pitched the single greatest game in Cubs history, and maybe of all time that year. He retired this year. We’ll see if Castro or Rizzo fill the void....