With the passing of Mr. Cub, Ernie Banks, as much as I thought he seemed like a nice guy, I don’t recall ever seeing, or reading, in the social media world, such an outpouring of support and kindness for a person. I’m sure there are some “Glad he’s gone,” posts somewhere, but it seemed everyone loved the guy, or at least respected his contribution to baseball. Sure, there were the normal, celebrity remembrances, but across my Facebook friends, people I grew up with in Ohio whom I wouldn’t have imagined really knew who he was, were there posting “Rest in Peace” comments, “He will be missed,” and even the White Sox fans, who are supposed to despise with all of their being anything Cub, had nice things to say. The other thing? Most of them had an Ernie Banks story. There were the stories of meeting him at a Cubs Convention, in an airport, on the street, and I’m sure there was someone regaling to his friends how he took a pee next to Ernie Banks in a bathroom somewhere.
And yes, even I have an Ernie Banks story.
I never did meet the man, though from everything everyone has posted I’m sure he would have been nice to me, but my story relates to his statue that is currently being tidied up for the next Cubs season and not available for fans to lay flowers, or other mementos, out of respect for him. It was back in 2008, another Cubs Opening Day with kind of crappy weather, but it was the official unveiling of the Ernie Banks statue. I wrote about it in a blog post at the time, and remember it to this day, because his saying, “Let’s play two!”, was synonymous with Cubs baseball, was spelled wrong. There, for eternity, or at least until it could be corrected, on the base of the statue, was an English teacher’s nightmare, “Lets play two.” Silly me, I didn’t take a picture of it, instead just some pictures of the crappy weather, but it’s one of those thing you look at and might wonder “Is that correct? I mean, it’s on the statue?” Sure enough, the apostrophe was added, all was right with the Ernie Banks legacy, and me, I at least have the story of seeing his statue with “Let’s” engraved incorrectly.
I’ll admit I’m not always the best at my own editing, that I’ll miss an apostrophe or two, but there’s my Ernie Banks story. It’s not much, and I do wish I would have met him I suppose, but I also wonder: Do you have an Ernie Banks story?
That’s it for this one! L8R!!