‘Let’s play two’

The Chicago Cubs’ greatest fan in history died recently. Ernie Banks played for the Cubs for nearly two decades and, in all of those years, never played in October, never a single post-season game. Not one at-bat, not one put out.

Yet Bank’s love for the game and spirited enthusiasm remained undaunted his entire life.

Banks is famous for saying, “It’s a great day for baseball. Let’s play two.” As a kid, I learned this motto, recited it as creed, and whispered it on Saturday mornings as I skipped to the Little League field.

He captured in three words the ways in which someone can love an activity so dearly that failed season after failed season could not deprive or depress or dispel.

In 1958, Banks became the first player from a team with a losing record to be awarded the National League Most Valuable Player. He beat out Willie Mays and Hank Aaron.

The story of his greatness is quite different, perhaps more heroic. In a culture that is more and more seduced by standards, Banks seemed to care about them, but never allowed them to have the last word. He had the last word. “Let’s play two.”

You don’t have to be a baseball fan to love and admire this undaunted spirit. You have but to cherish some activity so fully that no person and no disappointment and no event and no words can deprive you of the joy in the endeavor.

Paul Perkinson

Blue Hill

Radical Islamic terrorists

Wolves never lose any sleep over the opinions of sheep. Until this president identifies the problem, he cannot fix it. Words without action are a waste of time. When I hear “verify the authenticity” of the video, I want to scream. How many videos do we have to see before we believe?

It’s time to identify the enemy, Mr. President. Say these three words: radical Islamic terrorists. No one buys the “strongly worded condemnations” anymore, especially radical Islamic terrorists. The term “outrage” has also been rendered meaningless.

President Barack Obama called the latest video “just one more indication of the viciousness and barbarity of this organization.” There are more to come, Mr. President. The terrorists don’t take us seriously.

Terry Shortt

Amherst

Working through storms

I just want to commend the Ellsworth and other Maine road crews for their dedication and professionalism in clearing our roads and sidewalks in all of these big storms. I also want to thank the efforts of the BDN deliverers for bringing the news to our doors each day, despite the exceptionally challenging conditions. Well done and much appreciated.

Sara Hessler

Ellsworth

Don’t tax nonprofits

So, Gov. Paul LePage says that nonprofits should pay taxes? On what grounds? On what income?

Most of my jobs were with nonprofits, which I do not regret. The nonprofit organization is exactly that: not for profit. Isn’t this proposal an illegal way to collect revenue and against the IRS determination of their nonprofit status?

LePage needs to do the research before he speaks.

Anne Borreggine

Bangor