Ernie Banks: ‘Mr. Cub’ Was Happiest Man in Baseball

Ernie “Mr. Cub” Banks loved baseball so much that he once famously walked onto Chicago’s Wrigley Field before a game and proclaimed, “It’s a beautiful day, let’s play two!” It became his slogan. Banks, who passed away on Jan. 23 at age 83 in Chicago, was the first African American to take the field for the Chicago Cubs, hit 512 home runs and won the National League’s most valuable player award twice. But it was his irrepressible ebullience, even when …

Tom Verna: He Invented Instant Replay

There was a time when sports fans watching a live game on TV had no choice but to play close attention throughout. If they missed a spectacular play while reaching for the bowl of chips, they didn’t get a second chance to see it. TV sports director and producer Tony Verna changed that. Verna, who passed away on Jan. 18 at age 81, introduced the instant replay in 1963, basically videotaping the game and rerunning key moments to fill time …

Roger Angell, 93, Receives Baseball Hall of Fame Award

The game he loves has honored the man many say is its finest chronicler. On July 26, the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., presented the J.G. Taylor Spink Award to Roger Angell, for 50 years of writing about the national pastime. In The New Yorker magazine and in a number of books, Angell shared his passion for a sport he calls “the hardest game to play.” Speaking to the crowd after receiving his award, Angell was grateful: …

Agnes McKee, 105, Becomes Oldest ‘First Pitcher’

Agnes McKee, 105, has become the oldest person ever to throw a ceremonial first pitch in a Major League Baseball game. McKee stepped on to the mound at Petco Park on July 20 before the hometown San Diego Padres took on the New York Mets. McKee, wearing her very own Padres jersey – number 105, of course – and cap, wowed the crowd with an impressive windup and underhand toss. According to Yahoo Sports, a member of the staff at …

Tony Gwynn, Baseball’s ‘Mr. Padre,’ Dies at 54

In college, Tony Gwynn read Boston Red Sox great Ted Williams’ how-to book, The Science of Hitting. It must have made an impression. The stocky left-handed outfielder, who died on June 16 at age 54 in Poway, Calif., went on to build the sort of baseball career with the San Diego Padres from 1982 to 2001 that little boys dream about. He won eight National League batting championships (tying Honus Wagner’s record), amassed 3,141 hits, had a .338 career batting …

This Week in Boomer History: Jackson State … ‘Seinfeld’ Finale … Wallace Shot

Notable events from our shared experience President Richard Nixon nominates Anna Mae Hays (left) and Elizabeth P. Hoisington (right, with Mamie Eisenhower) the first female U.S. Army generals on May 15, 1970. On May 17, 2004, the first legal same-sex marriage in the United States takes place when Tanya McCloskey, 52, and Marcia Kadish, 56, say “I do” at City Hall in Cambridge, Mass. By day’s end, scores of other same-sex couples tie the knot. >> Sign up for the AARP Leisure …