Banks Educates A Rookie Print E-mail
Written by Fred Mitchell   
Thursday, 24 September 2009

Imagine a Hall of Fame slugger taking the time to invite a current major league rookie to dinner to offer advice. 

That is exactly what 500 Home Run Club slugger Ernie Banks did earlier this month when he broke bread with White Sox infielder Gordon Beckham in Chicago.
"Why would a Hall of Famer want to have dinner with me?" Beckham wondered aloud. But those of us who know Banks are not surprised. The 78-year-old, two-time National League Most Valuable Player always has had the best interests of the game foremost on his mind.

"I accepted immediately and we just kind of planned a date to be there and sit down," said Beckham of the dinner arrangement with Mr. Cub.

"I asked him a bunch of stuff about what he enjoyed most playing baseball. It was very gracious for him to have me as his guest for dinner," said Beckham.

Banks, who hit 512 home runs as a shortstop and first baseman, made sure Beckham, 23, understood what a privilege it is to be a prominent major-league ballplayer, especially in Chicago.

"It just kind of reminded me about what kind of platform I have and to never abuse that," Beckham said. "With all of the people who come up to talk to me ... obviously it is a privilege to be in the position I am and to be in the position he was and still is. It was a great conversation and I learned a lot."!Technorati!Newsvine!Blogmarks!Yahoo!
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