As a kid, I determined that the best baseball players ever were those that topped the home run list.
And for the longest time, Ernie Banks was near the top tied at 512 with Eddie Mathews.
When I was 8, I remember being out with my dad and hearing all about Ernie Banks on the radio as he was about to be enshrined in Cooperstown.
When I was barely a teen, I remember seeing one of his cards in the 25-cent bin of my local baseball card shop. I bought it.
I never met Ernie Banks. I never saw him play. But I knew that, along with being a superstar player, he was a superstar of a person: an attitude towards the game equal to his playing ability.
RIP 'Mr. Cub." RIP Ernie Banks.