By Ken Reed
One of baseball’s greats (as a player and person), Ernie Banks, passed away from a heart attack on Friday.
It’s a big loss but he left a great legacy with his “Let’s play two!” life philosophy.
Esteemed baseball writer Thomas Boswell nailed it in an ode to Banks.
“‘It’s a great day for a ballgame. Let’s play two’ isn’t just a quotation that will probably end up in Bartlett’s. It’s philosophy.,” wrote Boswell.
“The outward joy Banks professed, even if it was partly innate to his temperament, was also a daily act of will: a lifelong private commitment to enthusiasm as a guiding principle.”
Banks landed in the Hall of Fame for his baseball accomplishments — 512 home runs, Gold-glove fielder, the first power-hitting middle infielder, etc. — but he’s even more known for his great attitude. Banks remained positive despite playing his entire career for the lowly Chicago Cubs and holding the record for most games played without a postseason appearance.
It is “the man who exemplified an entire stance toward how we approach life, who will be remembered long after most of baseball’s 500-home run men are forgotten.”
All of us, whatever career path we’re on, whatever industry we work in, can bring a “Let’s play two!’ attitude to work today.
I think Banks would say there can be no better tribute to him than that.
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
Sports Forum Podcast
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Episode #21 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Chatting About a Broken Game With Baseball Writer Pedro Moura – Moura is a national baseball writer for Fox Sports. We discuss how and why the game of baseball is broken, what factors caused it, and offer a few thoughts on how to “fix” a great game.
Episode #20 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Coaching Youth and High School Sports Based On What’s Best for the Athlete’s Holistic Development – We chat with long-time youth, high school and college basketball coach Jim Huber.
Episode #19 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Capturing the Spirit of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League with Anika Orrock – We discuss the hoops AAGPFL women had to jump through to play the game they loved as well as the long-term impact and legacy they have in advancing sports opportunities for girls and women.
Episode #18 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Talking about the 50th Anniversary of Title IX and the Lia Thomas Controversy with Nancy Hogshead-Makar – Hogshead-Makar is a triple gold medalist in swimming, a civil rights attorney and CEO of Champion Women.
Episode #17 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Talking Sports With Legendary New York Times Sports Columnist Robert Lipsyte – We chat about Lipsyte’s amazing career and some of the athletes he covered.
Media"How We Can Save Sports" author Ken Reed appears on Fox & Friends to explain how there's "too much adult in youth sports."
Ken Reed appears on Mornings with Gail from KFKA Radio in Colorado to discuss bad parenting in youth athletics.
“Should College Athletes Be Paid?” Ken Reed on The Morning Show from Wisconsin Public Radio
Ken Reed appears on KGNU Community Radio in Colorado (at 02:30) to discuss equality in sports and Title IX.
Ken Reed appears on the Ralph Nader Radio Hour (at 38:35) to discuss his book The Sports Reformers: Working to Make the World of Sports a Better Place, and to talk about some current sports issues.
- League of Fans Sports Policy Director Ken Reed quoted in Washington Post column titled "What happened to P.E.? It’s losing ground in our push for academic improvement," by Jay Mathews
League of Fans is a sports reform project founded by Ralph Nader to fight for the higher principles of justice, fair play, equal opportunity and civil rights in sports; and to encourage safety and civic responsibility in sports industry and culture.
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
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