Big Questions in Cubdom: Should the Cubs Re-sign Kerry Wood?

In a tumultuous off-season for the Chicago Cubs, there have been a slew of players who have found themselves on the outside looking in with the new regime of Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer doing some serious housecleaning. Aramis Ramirez has departed to Milwaukee, Carlos Pena won’t be brought back by the club, and Carlos Zambrano, Tyler Colvin, Sean Marshall, and Andrew Cashner have all been dealt away. One free agent, however, has Cubs fans torn between their loyalty to him and their willingness to allow the new baseball brain trust to shape the team as they see fit.

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Catching up with Mr. Cub Ernie Banks

ernie banks

It’s true what they say about Mr. Cub Ernie Banks- indeed he really is that charming. 80 years young, and still the heart and soul of the Chicago Cubs franchise. He was on hand yesterday for the unveiling of the new State of Illinois Cubs license plate, just the second of its kind in the Land of Lincoln. (The Blackhawks had the first) And he told the story of how his “Mr. Cub” vanity license plate allowed everyone to keep tabs on him in Chi city.

“I’m better now, but when I had it before I would get it the next day. People would call Wrigley Field and say Ernie was over here, and I thought God, I need to take these plates off. But it gave me a lot of recognition around the city and it was nice. Now I’m more used to it, and I’ll be enjoying it, because we’re going to be winning,” Banks said.

By Paul M. Banks

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More From Mr. Cub, Cubs Owner Tom Ricketts, Sec. of State White on Cubs License Plates

Ernie Banks retired number

The Chicago Cubs unveiled a new license plate for the state of Illinois today! More on that here. Also, Mr. Cub Ernie Banks, owner Tom Ricketts, and Secretary of State Jesse White were on hand at Wrigley Field to unveil and discuss it.

Watch the two videos below to virtually join the press conference.

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New Cubs License Plate Unveiled by Ernie Banks, Jesse White, Tom Ricketts (Videos)

Before the formal press conference was even held and the design unveiled, the demand for Cubs license plates crashed the state’s system. 210 people had placed orders before the Chicago Cubs and Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White had even unveiled the new Chicago Cubs permanent license plate. Money raised from the license plates will support public schools throughout the State of Illinois. Given the dire situation within our state’s finances, a hot-selling item to infuse more public funding is quite welcome right now.

Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts and Hall of Famer “Mr. Cub” Ernie Banks joined Secretary White for the unveiling.

“For many years I played in the wonderful Chicago Cubs organization as a center fielder,” White said. “I feel a special bond and history with the team. I am not alone. The Chicago Cubs are a legendary franchise and boast of diehard fans throughout the country who will be excited to show their team spirit and support education with these plates.”

Twenty-five dollars from each license plate goes to the Professional Sports Teams Education Fund and is earmarked for the Common School Fund which supports public schools throughout the state of Illinois.

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Ron Santo, the Chicago Cub, forever

santo

A shout, a moan, a cheer and a heel-click all help explain why Cubs fans fell in love with Ron Santo.

People of all ages, be it 7 or 87, love and admire Ronnie. Everyone appreciates him in their respective ways because he was a part of this team for 50 years in different capacities.

Ernie Banks might be known as Mr. Cub, but Ron Santo was the franchise. He was the figurative heart and soul.

Cubs’ fans have never connected with a ballplayer the way they did with Ronnie. His histrionics in the booth emulated what was going on in millions of households around Chicago and the millions more around the country watching WGN.

By: Brian McCabe

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More with Jerry Pritikin: Most Interesting Cubs fan in the World

ernie banks

The Chicago Cubs fanbase is very vast, and within its friendly confines you’ll find numerous individuals with fascinating stories to tell. Chicagoan Jerry Pritikin could be the most intriguing of all. I’ll let him edify you on his life experiences.

For part one of the interview with the “Gay Forrest Gump” or the “Bleacher Preacher” go here.

To read about and see his pictures from the Stanley Cup at the Gay Pride Parade go here

By Paul M. Banks

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Sports Mt. Rushmore

By the TSB Staff

This Sports Bank collaboration is pretty self-explanatory. You’ve probably seen the bit on SportsCenter

PAUL M. BANKS

RED GRANGE: The Babe Ruth of football, along with Papa Bear Halas pretty much invented the NFL- America’s best loved league. He was so big he had two nicknames “Wheaton Iceman” and “Galloping Ghost” en route to becoming professional football’s first megastar; nothing more blue and orange than this Bears and University of Illinois legend.

WALTER PAYTON: I once got to have lunch with Sweetness back in 1994…perhaps the best day of my life during the mid-90s. There is only one true NFL’s all-time leading rusher and it’s not the guy who over extended his career as a re-tread in Arizona.

DERON WILLIAMS: Check out my exclusive with D. Will for an explanation of why my man-crush made it to my sports paragon.

OZZIE GUILLEN: I take pride in the fact that pro sports’ biggest nut-job leads my favorite all-time team and resides right here in Chicago. In a world filed with “we’re just taking it one game at a time,” “you dont want to get too high after the wins or too low after the losses,” and “somebody needs to step up,” a man who makes jokes to reporters about beating his wife, getting high at Allman Brothers concerts and destroying the contents of his office (all with a few @#$% and %&&* throw in for good measure) is a welcome departure. Anyone who Mad TV tries to parody, but can’t because the real thing is way more outrageous and absurd sounding than any possible spoof is legendary. Then there’s his record as a player and manager. We’ll never @#$ing forget 2000 and %^&in 2005!

Honorable mentions:
Deion $anders, Rashard Mendenhall, Frank Thomas, Papa Bear Halas, Bruce Weber, Pat Fitzgerald, Rocky Wirtz, Ryne Sandberg and Kendall Gill

PETER CHRISTIAN

Kirby Puckett– post career scandals notwithstanding, he is the reason I am the sports fan I am today.

Randy Moss– The greatest individual Viking player I’ve ever seen in person. Love me some Randy.

Kevin Garnett– He was to Minnesota Basketball what Michael Jordan was to the NBA.

Lou Nanne– The man has devoted his life to Minnesota hockey since he was 21, he is the greatest advocate for the sport in the state.


DAVID K.

Brett Favre- His head should really be three or four times bigger than the others.  Nobody will ever replace Favre as my favorite athlete of all time.  Although I would really be okay if someone called Tommy Lee Jones and he brought that mind eraser thingy from Men In Black and zapped this past season out of my memory bank.

Dwyane Wade- Words cannot express how fun my senior year of college was because of Wade.  His triple-double against Kentucky in the Elite Eight will go down as the single greatest performance I have ever seen at a live sporting event.  He has already won an NBA Title, NBA Finals MVP Award, an Olympic Gold Medal, and on top of all that, he’s from SICA!

Ernie Banks-
Since I need a Cubs representative on my Mount Rushmore, it has got to be Mr. Cub.  Mark Grace is my favorite Cubby of all time, but just does not seem Mt. Rushmore-worthy.  Banks does.

Dominique Wilkins- I would insist the sculptor give Nique the high fade from the late 80’s to make my Rushmore look that much sweeter.  The Human Highlight Film is probably the most innovative dunker not named Dr. J. and was my favorite basketball player prior to the arrival of D-Wade.  I cried when he was traded to the Clippers.  True story.

Honorable Mentions: Eric Davis (the former Reds OF, not 49ers CB), Grace, Wayne Chism (just because his yamika-style headband would look awesome in chiseled rock form.)

MELISSA S. WOLLERING

Sports Mt. Rushmore = Jim Brown, Babe Ruth, Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Tiger Woods

Reason – To become forever immortalized in stone on a mountain, you must make a significant contribution to both sports and the world at-large for years to come.  Otherwise, you get no bling on a geographic marker in the States.

honorable mention: Jack Nicklaus, Jim Thorpe, Carl Lewis, Michael Jordan, Jackie Robinson, Hank Aaron.  Seriously, if Mt. Rushmore could fit 5 heads, Thorpe or Lewis get a spot.