“It’s a Beautiful Day, Lets Play Two”

Opening Day 2008 will be an extra special day for Cubs fans and Ernie Banks as the team plans to unveil a full size bronze statue in front of Wrigley Field. 

Aabb002erniebanksphotofileposters I can’t think of a better player for the Cubs to give this honor to.  Known as "Mr. Cub", Banks spent his entire 19 year career with the Cubs and undoubtedly the most popular player in Cubs history.  He’s in the 500 HR club, and was one of the first power hitting shortstops in the game.  Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1977, retired number in 1982, Banks was one of the good guys in the game.  Any picture of video you see of Ernie Banks there’s always a smile on his face.  In his actions and conduct you can see he loved and respected the game of baseball.  He came from an era of players you rarely see in this era.

Personally I like when a club honors a great player with some type of statue.  AT&T Park has Willie Mays, Turner Field has Hank Aaron, and Busch Stadium has Stan Musial are among just a few of the statues that grace some of America’s great ballparks.  The only one I’m not really big on is the Babe Ruth statue in frontBalt20020036  of Oriole Park at Camden Yards.  Sure, Babe Ruth is arguably the best player in baseball history, but aside from being born there, what exactly has be done for Baltimore?  you could make the argument that Baltimore was his first professional franchise, and it’s a nice way to honor him, but guess what, there’s a museum for that a couple blocks from the stadium (it’s actually pretty cool, if you’re ever in Baltimore, check it out).  He finished his career with the Braves do they have a statue of him?  Will they ever?  No, on both accounts.  You’ll see a statue of Ted Turner in front of Turner Field, long before you’ll ever see a statue of Babe Ruth.  ****, the Yankees don’t have a statue of Ruth in front of Yankee Stadium (they have the giant bat).  It wasn’t that long ago that Baltimore had a winning franchise (okay, it’s been a while, but time is relative), and wouldn’t there be better players to honor?  Maybe Jim Palmer or Brooks Robinson???  I’m just putting it out there.

Anyway, before my digression continues, congratulations to Ernie Banks.  It’s a beautiful day for a ballgame, let’s play two…

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