WBEZ | Ernie Banks http://www.wbez.org/tags/ernie-banks Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Unmasking Ernie Banks http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/unmasking-ernie-banks-111480 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/ernie.PNG" alt="" /><p><p>For baseball fans, the sound of Jack Brickhouse calling Ernie Banks&rsquo; 498th, 499th and most especially, the Chicago Cub&rsquo;s 500th home run is, euphoria. The week after Banks died at the age of 83, fans, fellow ballplayers and the media talked endlessly about his talent&mdash;and charisma.</p><p>&ldquo;He liked being out in the public, it was important to him, people would recognize him. And if they didn&rsquo;t recognize him right away they might because of the Cub jacket and Cub hat he always wore,&rdquo; sports writer Ron Rapoport said.</p><p>Rapoport first got to know Banks when he was a sports columnist for the <em>Chicago Sun-Times</em>. But says he didn&rsquo;t get to know the man until later in life, when both men were living in California.</p><p>&ldquo;He was wearing a mask. It was a good mask and he liked wearing it...but the mask wasn&rsquo;t the man,&rdquo; Rapoport said.&nbsp;</p><p>Rapoport said the man was thoughtful, reflective and complicated...and almost eloquent.</p><p>He used to clock how long it took Banks to remove the mask when they were out in public; said he averaged about 20 minutes.</p><p>Banks&rsquo; swing was natural, fluid, zen-like. But his public persona required coaching from the start.</p><p>&ldquo;Ernie&rsquo;s first important baseball job was with&nbsp; the Kansas City Monarchs of the old Negro Leagues where Buck O&rsquo;Neil was the manager. And O&#39;Neill used to tell him which restaurants to go to...not to be caught &ldquo;reckless eyeballing white women,&rdquo; Rapoport explained.</p><p>Banks eventually found his way with the Monarchs&mdash;then, Jackie Robinson happened. A few years later, when the Chicago Cubs chose to integrate, they went for Banks; but Banks didn&rsquo;t want to go.</p><p>&ldquo;I just felt comfortable playing in the Negro Leagues. I didn&#39;t know what to do or what to say; it was a learning process in learning how to get along...with white players,&rdquo; Banks told WBEZ in 2010.</p><p>Banks learned to say little to his teammates in the big leagues and, instead, made friends in the little leagues. During the offseason, teams would invite him to throw out the first pitch and meet the kids, but when he got there&hellip;.</p><p>&ldquo;They would look at me, they would start talking ...&rsquo;Oh, I thought he was white, he&rsquo;s black.&rsquo; Because of my name, they...they didn&rsquo;t know,&rdquo; Banks laughed.</p><p>Banks won back-to-back MVP titles and hit 512 home runs, but there were those who wished he&rsquo;d done more for race relations.</p><p>Former longtime WBEZ host Richard Steele shared that the subject frequently comes up at the Coleman Brothers Barber Shop on 62nd and Stony Island, a neighborhood gathering place. One of the brothers, James, is actually an old Army buddy of Banks--and as you might imagine, he&rsquo;s a fierce defender of his old friend.</p><p>&ldquo;There&rsquo;s a senior barber in there, Tommy, who&rsquo;s my barber, who knows how to get a rise out of Mr. Coleman. All you had to do is say something about Ernie Banks and Tommy would say, &ldquo;I hate to say it, he&rsquo;s kind of an Uncle Tom.&rsquo;&rdquo; Coleman would be furious and (14) he would say, &lsquo;Stop saying that! The man is a great baseball player, a great wonderful human being...I knew him in the Army...&rsquo;&rdquo; Steele recalled.</p><p>Banks became a household name around the same time as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. But many said Banks didn&rsquo;t fight to get the salary the best player on the team deserved. His max salary was $65,000, while some of the white players he took on in home run derbies were making $100,000.</p><p>Lots of people thought Ernie&rsquo;s silence kept other black players from earning a fair wage. But he wasn&rsquo;t comfortable fighting for it--it wasn&rsquo;t his nature.</p><p>Nowadays, athletes&rsquo; paychecks are bigger--but so is the pressure to do and say more. Longtime WBEZ sports contributor Cheryl Raye Stout says that&rsquo;s unfair.</p><p>&ldquo;To say because you dribble a ball or you hit a ball or you dunk a ball that you&rsquo;re supposed to be a spokesperson is difficult. You can only do that if you feel comfortable in doing it,&rdquo; said Raye-Stout.</p><p>Chicago Bulls star Derrick Rose has never been much of a public speaker. But when a kid from Englewood becomes the star of his hometown team--he&rsquo;s expected to put an end to the violence he&rsquo;s witnessed.</p><p>Last December, Rose made his biggest social statement yet--without speaking. He wore a t-shirt bearing the phrase, &ldquo;I Can&rsquo;t Breath&rdquo; during a pre-game warmup. The phrase refers to Eric Garner&rsquo;s last words. The New York man died after a police officer placed him in a chokehold while arresting him for selling loose cigarettes. The demonstration drew mixed reactions--but Rose was glad people paid attention.</p><p>&ldquo;My biggest concern is the kids, I know what they&rsquo;re thinking right now, I was one of them kids. When you live in an area like that and you don&rsquo;t got any hope and police are treating you any way---I&rsquo;m not saying all our police (officers) are treating kids bad but, when you live in an area like that it gives you another reason to be bad,&rdquo; Rose said.</p><p>There will never be a shortage of people telling professional athletes what to do. And that&rsquo;s the real reason, Banks said, &ldquo;let&rsquo;s play two&hellip;&rdquo; He didn&rsquo;t want to leave the field.</p><p>&ldquo;When you&rsquo;re playing baseball, on that field, it&rsquo;s like your whole life, it&rsquo;s your world and you don&rsquo;t want to leave it. It was such a joy to be there, to be able to make decisions on your own: when to swing, when not to swing; when to run, when not to run. I felt this is the only place in the world where I could make my own decisions,&rdquo; Banks said.</p><p>I asked Rapoport if Banks didn&rsquo;t like what was under the mask--he said that wasn&rsquo;t the case at all.</p><p>&ldquo;He&rsquo;d want people to remember the mask, that&rsquo;s what he would want people to remember about him. And that&rsquo;s fair; he&rsquo;s earned the right to be remembered the way he wants to be, I think,&rdquo; Rapoport explained.</p><p>When WBEZ spoke with Banks back in 2010, Landmarks Illinois had just named the Hall of Famer a Legendary Landmark. Asked if he had any regrets, Banks explained he often searched his footsteps for them--but delighted in life&rsquo;s ups and downs. And then, ever the entertainer, he broke out into his friend Frank Sinatra&rsquo;s classic, &ldquo;My Way.&rdquo;</p><p><em>Katie O&rsquo;Brien is a WBEZ reporter and producer. Follow her <a href="http://twitter.com/katieobez" target="_blank">@katieobez</a>.</em></p></p> Fri, 30 Jan 2015 12:18:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/unmasking-ernie-banks-111480 Morning Shift: Grading Rahm on final issues http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-01-30/morning-shift-grading-rahm-final-issues-111478 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Eric E Johnson.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><img alt="" src="https://farm3.staticflickr.com/2684/4540087361_d59a0649e6.jpg" style="width: 620px; height: 314px;" title="(Flickr/Eric E Johnson)" /></p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/188662162&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 24px; line-height: 22px;">With shake-up at top, what do consumers want from McDs?</span></p><p>Steady, declining sales have led Oak Brook-based McDonald&rsquo;s corporation to make some changes. 63 workers were let go from corporate jobs, and President and COO Don Thompson is out. He&rsquo;s been replaced by Steve Easterbrook. We&rsquo;ve heard about changing American tastes, and the perception that fast food isn&rsquo;t healthy food. But what do consumers really want from McDonald&rsquo;s, and will the new regime be able to deliver? Darren Tristano with consulting firm Technomic talks about the changes the burger giant needs to make. &nbsp;</p><p><strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">Guest: </strong><em><a href="https://twitter.com/darrentristano">Darren Tristano</a> is the Executive Vice President for consulting firm Techomi.</em></p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/188662160&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 24px; line-height: 22px;">Chicagoans pay tribute to Ernie Banks</span></p><p>A public visitation for Ernie Banks will be held Friday at Fourth Presbyterian Church downtown. Fans, ballplayers, family and friends will gather to pay their respect to &ldquo;Mr. Cub&rdquo;...&rdquo;Mr. Let&rsquo;s Play Two&rdquo;&hellip;&ldquo;Mr. Sunshine.&rdquo; Banks broke records and barriers during his 19 years with the Chicago Cubs. But as WBEZ&rsquo;s Katie O&rsquo;Brien learned, he never broke character.<span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 24px; line-height: 22px;">&nbsp;</span></p><p><strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">Guest: </strong><em><a href="https://twitter.com/katieobez">Katie O&#39;Brien</a> is a WBEZ reporter.</em></p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/188662154&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 24px; line-height: 22px;">Grading Rahm: What other issues are on voters&#39; minds?</span></p><p>All this week, we hosted experts who issued Mayor Rahm Emanuel a letter grade in four areas: Jobs and the economy, education, public safety and transparency. You can see all those grades at wbez.org/gradingrahm. To wrap our series <em><a href="http://wbez.org/gradingrahm">Grading Rahm</a></em>, WBEZ&rsquo;s Shannon Heffernan, Becky Vevea and Chip Mitchell discuss some of the feedback they&rsquo;ve received on their reporting, what other issues voters may be talking about before they head to the polls next month, and what they would ask the Mayor if he was standing in front of them. And, we take listeners&rsquo; calls with reaction to the letter grades.</p><p><strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">Guests:</strong></p><ul><li><em><a href="https://twitter.com/shannon_h">Shannon Heffernan</a> is a&nbsp;a WBEZ reporter.</em></li><li><em><a href="https://twitter.com/beckyvevea">Becky Vevea</a> is a WBEZ education reporter.</em></li><li><em><a href="https://twitter.com/chipmitchell1">Chip Mitchell</a> is a WBEZ West Side Bureau reporter.&nbsp;</em></li></ul></p> Fri, 30 Jan 2015 07:49:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-01-30/morning-shift-grading-rahm-final-issues-111478 Morning Shift: Remembering Mr. Cub Ernie Banks http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-01-26/morning-shift-remembering-mr-cub-ernie-banks-111454 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Zennie Abraham.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>We remember Chicago's beloved Cub, Ernie Banks who passed away this weekend at 83 and baseball losing an American icon. Also, the first segment of our week-long series, "Grading Rahm" with an analysis on how he's fared with job creation and the economy.</p> <div class="storify"><iframe src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-2018/embed?header=false&border=false" width="100%" height="750" frameborder="no" allowtransparency="true"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-2018.js?header=false&border=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-2018" target="_blank">View the story "Morning Shift: Remembering Mr. Cub Ernie Banks" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Mon, 26 Jan 2015 08:18:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-01-26/morning-shift-remembering-mr-cub-ernie-banks-111454 Chicago Cubs legend Ernie Banks, 1st black player in team history, dies http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/chicago-cubs-legend-ernie-banks-1st-black-player-team-history-dies-111451 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/banks_0.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Baseball&#39;s Chicago Cubs report that Hall of Fame shortstop Ernie Banks has died. &quot;Mr. Cub,&quot; who began his career in the Negro leagues, was the first black player for the team &mdash; eighth in the majors overall &mdash; and played in 14 All-Star games in his 19 seasons, all with the Cubs.</p><p>&quot;Forty-four years after his retirement, Banks holds franchise records for hits, intentional walks and sacrifice flies and in RBIs since 1900,&quot; <a href="http://m.cubs.mlb.com/news/article/107316594/beloved-mr-cub-hall-of-famer-banks-dies-at-83" target="_blank">MLB.com reports</a>. &quot;He likely holds club records for smiles and handshakes as well. ... His 2,528 games are the most by anyone who never participated in postseason play. Chicago never held him responsible for that and believed he deserved better.&quot;</p><p>Banks, who was 83, was named National League MVP in 1958 and 1959, and received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2013.</p><p>His back-to-back MVP awards were among the few given to players on losing teams, notes The <em>Associated Press</em>:</p><div><blockquote><p>&quot;Banks&#39; best season came in 1958, when he hit .313 with 47 homers and 129 RBIs. Though the Cubs went 72-82 and finished sixth in the National League, Banks edged Willie Mays and Hank Aaron for his first MVP award. He was the first player from a losing team to win the NL MVP.</p><p>&quot;Banks won the MVP again in 1959, becoming the first NL player to win it in consecutive years, even though the Cubs had another dismal year. Banks batted .304 with 45 homers and a league-leading 143 RBIs.&quot;</p></blockquote><p>The <em>Chicago Tribune</em> <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/cubs/ct-sullivan-ernie-banks-spt-0124-20150123-story.html" target="_blank">describes the outlook of Banks, who also was known as &quot;Mr. Sunshine&quot;</a>:</p><blockquote><p>&quot;Ernie Banks didn&#39;t invent day baseball or help build Wrigley Field. He just made the idea of playing a baseball game under the sun at the corner of Clark and Addison streets sound like a day in paradise, win or lose. ... He was a player who promoted the game like he was part of the marketing department. Not because he had to, but because he truly loved the Cubs and the game itself.&quot;</p></blockquote></div><p>&mdash; <em><a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2015/01/24/379510352/chicago-cubs-legend-ernie-banks-1st-black-player-in-team-history-dies">via NPR</a></em></p></p> Sat, 24 Jan 2015 09:44:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/chicago-cubs-legend-ernie-banks-1st-black-player-team-history-dies-111451 Wrigley Opening Day http://www.wbez.org/blogs/photo-day/2013-04/wrigley-opening-day-2013-106552 <p><p><object height="300" width="400"><param name="flashvars" value="offsite=true&amp;lang=en-us&amp;page_show_url=%2Fphotos%2Fchicagopublicradio%2Fsets%2F72157633196220259%2Fshow%2F&amp;page_show_back_url=%2Fphotos%2Fchicagopublicradio%2Fsets%2F72157633196220259%2F&amp;set_id=72157633196220259&amp;jump_to=" /><param name="movie" value="http://www.flickr.com/apps/slideshow/show.swf?v=124984" /><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true" /><embed allowfullscreen="true" flashvars="offsite=true&amp;lang=en-us&amp;page_show_url=%2Fphotos%2Fchicagopublicradio%2Fsets%2F72157633196220259%2Fshow%2F&amp;page_show_back_url=%2Fphotos%2Fchicagopublicradio%2Fsets%2F72157633196220259%2F&amp;set_id=72157633196220259&amp;jump_to=" height="300" src="http://www.flickr.com/apps/slideshow/show.swf?v=124984" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="400"></embed></object></p><p><a href="http://www.wbez.org/users/takimoff" rel="author">Tim Akimoff</a> is the digital content editor at WBEZ. You can follow him on <a href="https://twitter.com/timakimoff"> Twitter </a> and <a href="https://www.facebook.com/timakimoff"> Facebook </a></p></p> Mon, 08 Apr 2013 19:15:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/photo-day/2013-04/wrigley-opening-day-2013-106552 Phil Rogers celebrates Chicago's ultimate All-Star Ernie Banks http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-07-11/back-summer-%E2%80%9969-mr-cub-ernie-banks-88959 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//segment/photo/2011-July/2011-07-11/Ernie Banks Small.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Although there will only be one Chicago Cub on the All-Star roster this year, the <a href="http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/index.jsp?c_id=chc" target="_blank">Cubs</a> had more impressive showings in the past. For a while, there was one player who practically had a permanent spot: <a href="http://erniebanks.net/" target="_blank">Ernie Banks</a>, "Mr. Cub," made 13 All-Star appearances during his career.</p><p>His talent was so spectacular longtime <em>Chicago Tribune</em> sportswriter <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/columnists/cs-phil-rogers,0,1373147.columnist" target="_blank">Phil Rogers</a> referred to Bank's talent as some sort of super gene. WBEZ's Richard Steele recently sat down with Rogers to talk about his new book<span style="font-style: italic;">, </span><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Ernie-Banks-Mr-Cub-Summer/dp/1600785190" target="_blank"><em>Ernie Banks: Mr. Cub and the Summer of ’69</em></a>.</p></p> Mon, 11 Jul 2011 14:24:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-07-11/back-summer-%E2%80%9969-mr-cub-ernie-banks-88959 Daily Duel: Who's the biggest Chicago star at Harry Caray's? http://www.wbez.org/blog/daily-duel-whos-biggest-chicago-star-harry-carays <p><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/sfmoe/2514928592/"><img class="size-full wp-image-16520" style="border: 1px solid black; margin: 7px;" title="harrycaray" src="/sites/default/files/archives/blogs//harrycaray.jpg" alt="" width="500" height="333" /></a> <p style="text-align: left;">The new Harry Caray's restaurant is opening on Navy Pier this morning. There is a red carpet, live music, local djs and even people handing out energy drinks (you know you've made it as a restaurant if someone is handing out free energy drinks).‚  Stars include Ernie Banks, Richard Dent, James Denton, Jeremy Piven, Patrick Kane and others. Why would they all come out to a red carpet event at a Navy Pier restaurant opening? Because most of the stars own it. Yep, they are investors. That's sort of like Dan Akroyd showing up at House of Blues (back in the day).</p> <p style="text-align: left;">So, instead of doing the daily duels of non-hall of fame Chicago sports stars today, we thought we would do a poll asking you who the most famous sports star is...today at Harry Caray's.</p> [poll id="83"]</p> Mon, 01 Mar 2010 11:27:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/daily-duel-whos-biggest-chicago-star-harry-carays