banks baseball card     NFL: Seattle Seahawks-Minicamp

This week, Baseball Hall-of-Famer Ernie Banks died at the age of 83. He played for the Chicago Cubs for his entire career.

This week, Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch very reluctantly appeared at an event as part of the Super Bowl in Arizona. He responded to every question with, “I am here so that I don’t get fined.”

Let’s review.

BANKS: 19 years, over 500 home runs, first played for the Kansas City Monarchs in the Negro Leagues. He spent two years in the army. In 1953, he became the first African-American on the Chicago Cubs team, where he stayed the rest of his career. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame on his first year of eligibility. He was highly regarded as “Mr. Cub”, serving as an unofficial ambassador for the Cubs and for the city of Chicago. Ernie Banks earned nearly $700,000 over his entire 19 year career.

He experienced some marital problems through his life.

LYNCH: Grew up in Oakland and played football for UC/Berkeley. Drafted 12th in the first round of the 2006 draft by Buffalo. He played there a few years and did a fine job in many ways. Went to Seattle in 2010. He is known by the nickname “Beast Mode”. When drafted, he signed a contract for 18 million dollars, and he hadn’t yet run a single play on the professional football field. Side Note: That one contract is 25 times more than Ernie Banks made in his whole career.

He has faced misdemeanor hit-and-run charges and a DUI.

Both men did some work with charity.

But here’s my point.

Ernie Banks rose through the strife of those racial years in baseball. He became known as the smiling, productive shortstop and first baseman for the Cubs. He was warm to his teammates and the fans. When asked about the weather on a certain summer, he commented on how nice the weather was, finishing with his famous, “It’s so nice, let’s play two”.

How’s that for an attitude?

And then I take you to the recent Super Bowl event, where I’ve already pointed out Marshawn Lynch’s activity in it. He does little to appreciate the fans with this kind of demeanor. Not surprisingly, his reluctance in such situations is well-known and is expected as standard procedure for him.

How’s that for an attitude?

Dear Mr. Lynch.

Remember that as a professional athlete, you got there on the shoulders of the likes of Ernie Banks.
Start acting like it.

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