Ernie Banks remembered

Nobody represented his city or team more joyously, or admirably, than Mr. Cub.

Michael Wilbon on Ernie Banks

Last night, we lost a baseball legend and a Chicago hero, Ernie Banks. He was 83.

Affectionately called “Mr. Cub”, no one could say it better than Wilbon up above. He continued to write that in an era of iconic Chicago athletes in the 60s and 70s, “Banks would have sat at the head of the table.”

For my 20-something generation, we have to take numerous accounts like these of Banks’ impact as a player and in the city of Chicago during his playing career. The breadth of tributes from sportswriters and former teammates alike sound just like this. I even have a first-hand source myself who can back them all up: my dad.

He’s the biggest Cubs fan I know and was devastated at the news of his childhood hero. We reminisced through amazing statistics, dad’s personal stories of getting his autograph, and browsed through a lot of the photos seen up above in the gallery.

One main takeaway after our talks and being immersed in the coverage: Ernie Banks lived with the most positive, happiest spirit that anyone could recall. His famous saying, “It’s a great day for a ballgame. Let’s play two!” was said during a 105-degree summer day at the ‘Friendly Confines’ of Wrigley Field (a phrase Banks also coined and lasts today.)

Let’s play two! It means so much.

As we reflect on Mr. Cub’s hall-of-fame playing career, his impact in Chicago and around the world as the first African-American to play for the Cubs, we can also emulate our own life and mentality in alignment with the way Banks has lived. “Let’s play two!”

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One of the most heartbreaking anecdotes from Ernie Banks’ passing is what he planned to do when the Cubs eventually do win a World Series. Via the conclusion of the aforementioned article by Wilbon:

Ernie always said when the Cubs finally won a World Series — it’s 106 years and counting — he wanted to go to Wrigley Field one night and just stand there alone, in the dark, and soak it all in. So you know what we’re thinking, all the little kids who are beyond 50 now and who watched Banks play all those years ago. Maybe this will be the Cubs’ time. They’ll wear his No. 14 on their jerseys this season and feel about the Cubbies the way he did, which is to say inspired and joyous and ready every single day to play two.

Hopefully the Cubs can win it for Ernie… and Ronnie, Harry, Jack, and all of the Cubs legends who passed through Wrigley Field at one time or another. This is the year?! It’d be even more of an amazing Hollywood story than Back to the Future could have ever predicted.

R.I.P. "Mr. Cub" Ernie Banks
R.I.P. “Mr. Cub” Ernie Banks

Behind The Mic ft. Big Sean x Donda’s House

Exciting things are happening once again with Donda’s House as they partner with The Chicago Track and The Sean Anderson Foundation for a Q&A session with Big Sean. Held at the Chicago Cultural Center, the rising organizations took back the city from the subzero temperatures and gave us another reason to be proud of Chi-town. With featured performances from Donda’s House and The Chicago Track artists, it was great to see how both these organizations have grown within the past few years. With bigger, better, and even more culturally aware artists stemming from these programs, Chicago is going to continue its reign as the creative mecca.

Capping off the night was the Q&A session with Big Sean whose arrival on the scene has been anything but silent. From tracks like “Marvin Gaye and Chardonnay” to the catchy hit “IDFWU”, Big Sean kept it equally real with the folks of Chicago as he spoke about his humble upbringing, music, and his own advice to other music hopefuls. No stranger to the Donda’s House or Kanye West circle, this isn’t the last we will see of Big Sean and his social efforts. Much like his big brother, Ye, Big Sean is giving back to the community with his own nonprofit organization, The Sean Anderson Foundation, another organization aimed to provide the community with better educational and environmental resources. Now with two mainstream artists providing the community with an creative outlet and social purpose, the possibilities are abundant as the music scene continues to grow. Hold on tight, 2015 is just the beginning for the new age of hip hop.

Salute to y’all.

1940s Chicago — A Short Film #TBT

Chicago, you have come a long way.

This week, a new short film has made a viral appearance to us Chicagoans — an unearthed illustration of Chicago in the 1940s.

The film, a thorough 30 minute look at Chicago landmarks, industries, schools, hospitals, and other amenities that served at the time as a recruiting video for students and businesses alike to relocate to the growing city (the 4th largest in the world at the time.)

Today, this is about as cool of a documentary as you can find of the city in the 1940s. We get a tour of all the standing landmarks of today — the Wrigley Building, the Tribune Tower, Wrigley Field, and Merchandise Mart to name a few. Plus, a look at the people and culture along State St., Randolph St., and Michigan Boulevard (now Avenue, of course) where 55,000 automobiles traveled per day. Things haven’t changed too much on that end.

The icing on the cake is the old school vibe from the narrator. Fellow 20 somethings or older generations will nod approvingly at his voice… feels like we’re back in grammar school.

Any design or architecture buffs like myself will also likely enjoy the various panoramic views via United Airlines. You can see the early formations of the depth of the city today. Just compare some of these views (and screenshots below) to that of a #chitecture on Instagram. Pretty cool, huh?

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