On Saturday, I watched Ernie Banks’ funeral on the MLB Network.
Among those who spoke were Hall of Fame teammates Billy Williams, Ferguson Jenkins and Lou Brock (who began his career as a Cub) as well as newly elected Illinois GOP Governor Bruce Rauner and Jesse Jackson.
Then there was Chicago businessman John Rogers who made a point of saying that Banks and his mother were part of a rare breed – black Republicans.
I knew that Banks had supported George W. Bush’s re-election bid. But I was not aware that he had run for Chicago City Council in 1963 as a Republican. Alas, Richard Daley’s Democrat machine saw to it that Banks wasn’t elected. I’m sure many of those who voted against Banks resided in cemeteries.
Then again Ernie Banks didn’t require public office to make Chicago a better place.