* Here’s something I didn’t know about Ernie Banks…
In 1963, he unsuccessfully ran for 8th Ward alderman as a Republican in Chicago.
In the summer of ‘69, he was appointed to the board of the CTA, which led to speculation in the Tribune he was planning to retire, “especially if the Cubs win the pennant and the World Series.” (Spoiler alert: They did not.)
* Banks explained his loss a couple of years ago…
“I ran for Alderman and Mayor [Richard J.] Daley was running the city,” Banks said. “Someone asked the mayor where that baseball player was going to finish in the race for the 8th Ward. He said somewhere out in left field. That is where I finished.”
He came in third place with just 2,028 votes.
I doubt he walked many, if any, precincts. and the organization was pretty darned powerful back then.
* Banks also wanted to talk Barack Obama out of running for president…
The Hall of Fame shortstop said he tried to talk to then-Senator Barack Obama out of running for this country’s highest office in 2007.
Banks, who was at Wrigley Field to be saluted by the Chicago Cubs for the presidential honor, said that he thought the then-junior Senator from Illinois probably would have a tough time winning.
“I met him at a Jesse Jackson dinner at Navy Pier,” Banks said. “He was there speaking. I wanted to say hi to him. I talked to his assistant and I said I have to talk to Barack.
“I got his card, and the next day he announced he was a candidate. I was going to tell him not to run. I said, ‘Do you really want to do this?’ “