Number eight in my ongoing Baseball greats drawing series. Once again, my History Channel "This Date in History" daily calendar made it clear who the next subject would be. On this day 45 years ago, May 12, 1970, at the "Friendly Confines" of the Cubs home, Wrigley Field, Ernest "Ernie" Banks, aka "Mr. Cub," (and "Mr. Sunshine,") hit his 500th home run, becoming only the ninth member in the history of the game to do so. (And he did it, fittingly, against my Atlanta Braves. side note: Hank Aaron, served as best man at Ernie's third marriage as well) I hate to admit, although I loved the history of the Cubs franchise, and respected their incredibly loyal "Cubbies fans," I didn't know much about their most famous players. If there is a picture for how to play America's sacred pastime, look up Ernie Banks pictures online. The epitome of pure happiness and joy. What a great way to start my day. RIP, Ernie, (he passed in January of this year,) and thanks for your shining example of the true spirit of sports. An apropos quote from the self made man himself: "You must try to generate happiness within yourself. If you aren't happy in one place, chances are you won't be happy anyplace."....and: "It's a beautiful day for a ballgame... Let's play two!"
It's a beautiful day indeed, Ernie. Thanks for your wisdom.