Ernie Banks, an outstanding shortstop for the Chicago Cubs, was an athlete I looked up to both as an athlete and as a man. Even though I grew up a Boston Red Sox fan, I still pulled for Ernie Banks and considered him to be a real role model for young people in that day. He was called, and aptly so, “Mr. Cub,” and he became the face of the Chicago team. To my knowledge, this man did nothing except show real character and class both on the field and off. “Mr. Cub” played from 1953 through the 1971 season. Ernie Banks died on Jan. 23, 2015. Ernie Banks played his entire career for the Cubs and is considered to be one of the greatest players of all times.
Ernie Banks earned another nickname, “Mr. Sunshine” during his playing days, which tells us lots about the man. He was an all-star for 11 seasons and won two Most Valuable Player awards. We need more men and women in sports today who play the game for the right reason and can truly be proper role models for American youth. We see far too many athletes in the sports world today who set the wrong example. We should all put athletics in the proper perspective and not tolerate the conduct we now see from some professional athletes. I put Derek Jeter, who recently retuned after a long and highly productive with the New York Yankees, in the same class with Ernie Banks. We simply need more athletes like these two men.
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