ERNIE BANKS, THE CHICAGO CUBS Hall of Famer, is known not only for what he did on the baseball field but also for what he never had the opportunity to do. Banks never played in post-season games or in the World Series. The other National League teams discarded the Cubs like chewing gum wrappers; the Cubs were permanent residents of the cellar. Yet every season Banks excelled as both a hitter and a fielder and never gave evidence of less effort.
Recently in a radio interview. Banks was asked how he could play at maximum level when there was little or no hope of playing in the World Series. He responded with a classic line: "You have to love the game itself and not love yourself in the game."
Banks went on to explain that he loved the game of baseball so much that he had to give his best effort every time. Yet he said some only love the game in the moment of play, and not for the love of the game itself. If a player plays with the attitude that his season will be over in August, he will simply ...1