SCOTTSDALE, Arizona -- There had been rumors of a special tribute to the late Ernie Banks on Opening Night, and according to Steve Miller of WBBM radio, it's going to happen:
They won’t play two, but the Cubs will pay tribute to the late Hall of Famer Ernie Banks on Opening Night, covering the entire bleacher section with photos of "Mister Cub." "When people walk into the ballpark on opening night, they will see beautiful photographic images of Ernie Banks throughout his career," said Cubs spokesman Julian Green. "Several images which we believe are just wonderful depictions of who he was." Green said the photographs of Mr. Cub will be on ten 1,200-square-foot panels. "It’s very huge. It covers the entire bleacher section," Green said.
Considering the unfinished steel superstructure of the new bleachers would look mighty strange on national TV, this is an elegant solution to that problem. It will be interesting to see what happens to any home runs that hit these images -- they'd likely just bounce back onto the field. Kudos to the Cubs for coming up with this creative way of honoring Mr. Cub.
If they can get the video board operational by Sunday, they could probably run a video tribute to Ernie on the board as well. The article also indicates that Ernie's twin sons, Joey and Jerry Banks, will throw out ceremonial first pitches and lead the seventh-inning stretch.