Mr. Cub, Ernie Banks, has passed away and I’m profoundly sad. He was such a presence in my life even though he retired from baseball before I was born.
I am a lifelong Cubs fan. It started at age 10 when I saw my first Cubs game at Wrigley field. I fell in love with the team and the magical place they played baseball. Cub fandom is passed down in my family on my mother’s side: from my grandma to my mom to me and now I’m passing it to my girls.
Has my passion for the Cubs led to much heartbreak over the years? Yes. But I remain optimistic about the future and I get that from Ernie. His infectious enthusiasm for the game of baseball is unsurpassed. Ernie Banks is a legend. He was the first black player in Cubs history and had an amazing baseball career:
- 11 time all-star
- 512 career home runs
- National League MVP in back to back years
He had so many amazing accomplishments, but more than that, it was his optimism, enthusiasm, and infectious spirit that remains with me. He is famous for saying to his teammates on game day, “Let’s Play Two!” He loved the game that much. As I reflect on Ernie’s life, these questions come to mind:
- What brings me as much joy as baseball gave Ernie?
- When in my life or career, do I want to say “Let’s Play Two”?
- What activities energized me so much that I’m ready to do them all over again as soon as I finish?
- How can I bring more of those activities into my life and career on a regular basis?
- What would life be like if I could feel the energy, joy and optimism that baseball brought to Ernie?
I’m going to spend some time answering those questions and finding ways to bring more of that pure joy into my everyday life. I encourage you to answer them for yourself and then identify some ways you can incorporate those energizing activities into your life on a regular basis.
Thank you Ernie for everything you did for the Cubs, and for the countless number of individuals you brought joy to over the years. You will be terribly missed but your spirit remains and continues to spread joy to those you touched over the years. You are a legend in baseball, but your legacy doesn’t stop there. The legacy of how you approached and lived your life far surpassed your amazing baseball career.