Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Tom & Ernie Go To Arizona

Election time is nearing and the Cubs are making their best effort to convince the people of Mesa, Arizona that Proposition 420 is something that would make their lives better.

According to Carrie Muskat:

Mr. Cub, Ernie Banks, joined Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts to campaign to keep the team in Mesa, Ariz.

Banks and Ricketts were in Mesa on Monday, trying to rally support for Proposition 420, which would allow the city of Mesa to spend up to $99 million on a new Spring Training facility for the Cubs. Voters will decide on the Nov. 2 ballot.

The money includes $84 million for a stadium, practice fields and training facilities and $15 million for infrastructure. The Cubs' owners would fund a "Wrigleyville West" retail district around the complex, which would be built at the current Riverview Park site.

Tom is bringing out the big guns by bringing the always engaging Ernie Banks to whip up support.  How will he get the people of Arizona, 10% of whom are unemployed, to vote for such a large allocation of money?

Banks, a Hall of Famer who played for the team from 1953-71, said he recalled riding a train to the Cubs' Spring Training facility in Mesa in '53 but missed his stop. The team's traveling secretary, Bob Lewis, was waiting at the depot for Banks and when the train went by with the shortstop still on it, he chased it down with his car.

"They stopped the train," Banks told reporters in Mesa on Monday. "I didn't know where I was. I thought, 'Why am I here?' Mesa was a very small community. It's not anymore. It's grown and changed."

If you can figure out how that has anything to do with why the citizens of Mesa should vote for this allocation of funds, you are smarter than me.  I'm also not sure why Carrie included this little tidbit in her story, other than needing to fill a minimum number of words.

I can just imagine Ernie and Tom out and about meeting voters and rallying the people:

Tom: This development of the Riverview Park site is crucial to developing the Cubs into an elite team, and it can bring millions more dollars into your community.  It's win/win.  I hope you'll all support it as much as my good friend, Mr. Cub, Ernie Banks does.

Ernie: When I trained here, this area was all nothing but cactuses as far as the eye could see.  Or is it cacti?  I forget.

Tom: I think it's cacti, but that doesn't matter today.  What does matter is how important Proposition 420 is to the community of Mesa, right Ernie?

Ernie: You know, I think this was the spot where we hazed Santo in his rookie year by dropping him with nothing but a jock strap so he had to find his way back to the clubhouse.  Like I said, there wasn't anything around then but those cacti.  Are you sure that's what it is? That sounds wrong to me.

Tom: I'm fairly certain it is cacti.  I am as certain as I am that Proposition 420 is good for the city of Mesa, for the fans that bring in all the tourist dollars that make your community thrive, and for the Chicago Cubs!

Ernie:  Heh heh heh, that's right.  I'm pretty sure this is the spot.  I remember because we spun him around a few times and I pointed him in the direction of that mountain over there so he wouldn't know what direction was what.  You should have seen him when he got back to camp.  He looked like a lobster!

Tom:  Yes. Well. Don't forget to vote YES on Proposition 420 on November 2nd!

Ernie:  He was a good sport, but he did get us back by putting cactuses in our beds one night.  Yeah, that sounds better.

Tom: (sigh)

Ernie: The Cubs will be heaven in 2011!  Let's play two!

Tom: Let's go, Ernie.


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