Good-bye, Mr. Sunshine

Mr. Cub honored in 2009 by Mr. President

Mr. Cub honored in 2009 by Mr. President

Ernie Banks is gone. He was the first African American to play for the Chicago Cubs, and has forever since been “Mr. Cub.”

A Hall of Fame inductee (1977), Banks is best remembered for his boundless enthusiasm: Let’s Play Two! Only the eternal optimist would want to inject himself into a broiling-afternoon doubleheader (National League Chicago played no night games then) on most of the Cubs teams he played for. Banks never appeared in a postseason game, and therefore remained something of a Chicago phenomenon. The Cubs have not won a championship since 1908.

Banks had tremendous power and in many ways is the prototype of the modern-day superstar-power shortstop: Cal Ripkin Jr., Alex Rodriguez, Nomar Garciaparra, Derek Jeter, Troy Tulowitzki.

God got a good one.


About rightoffthebatbook

Co-author of the book, "Right Off the Bat: Baseball, Cricket, Literature, and Life"
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1 Response to Good-bye, Mr. Sunshine

  1. We all had a good one with Ernie Banks. What a champ.

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