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MY TRIBUTE to ERNIE BANKS

I wanted this true story on the record as a tribute to the character and kindness of Mr. Cub – Ernie Banks.

I am a Cubs fan.¬† Since 1969.¬† When I read in the newspaper that they hadn’t won the pennant since 1945.¬† Although the Cubs have been in the postseason since 1969, (Most notably in 2003!) they never have made it to the World Series.

When I was in college, a friend of mine’s father ran a sporting goods store in Fairborn, Ohio.¬† One day the son said, look we don’t want a lot of people to know about it but you root for the Cubs and all that so – well – Ernie Banks will be in my Dad’s sporting goods shop on a certain day (It was April or maybe May of a certain year) at I want to say 3 pm.

Well, of course I’d had skipped class to see Ernie Banks!¬† My Dad and I went down to the store to see Banks.¬† And he was there.¬† Just as nice a guy as you could imagine.¬† Of course I wore my Cubs baseball hat and maybe took a Cubs pennant for him to sign.

When he found out I was a Cubs fan – he said:¬† How would you like tickets (Cubs were in town against the Cincinnati Reds) to the game Saturday night?¬† Sure I would!¬† Banks gets on the phone, apparently calls the Reds and says – go to will call and there’ll be five tickets for your whole family.¬† We tried to pay him but he wasn’t hearing of it.¬† And yes he signed my pennant and cap.

BEST SEATS we ever had to a MLB game!  Right behind the catcher in the lower (not the lowest deck) deck of old Riverfront stadium!

If that was all, it would be a good story.¬† But we were deep in the Fairborn Little League (Dad coached) and I boldly asked:¬† Would you come down to the little league park and see the kids and sign their hats and stuff?¬† They were practicing at the time.¬† We figured he’d say sorry can’t make it.

BUT Ernie Banks took the time to go down to that little league park and see the kids who were thrilled to meet a real major leaguer!¬† (Some of the kids needed some explanation as to why Banks was important but they were thrilled to see him – not to mention a lot of dads were even more thrilled – once they knew he was a former major league player.)¬† He was ebullient, signed stuff and had as much fun as they did.¬† He didn’t have to do that but Banks did.

May you be promoted to glory, Mr. Cub.  Maybe talk to the Lord about how nice Wrigley Field would be hosting a World Series this fall.

About Elwood Sanders

Elwood “Sandy” Sanders is a Hanover attorney who is an Appellate Procedure Consultant for Lantagne Legal Printing and has written ten scholarly legal articles. Sandy was also Virginia’s first Appellate Defender and also helped bring curling in VA! (None of these titles imply any endorsement of Sanders‚Äô views)

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