One of the greatest baseball players of all-time, Cubs legend Ernie Banks was a 11-time All-Star and two time NL MVP.
Baseball Hall of Famer Ernie Banks, known as “Mr. Cub” has passed away at the age of 83. USA Today reported that the Chicago Cubs confirmed the death of Banks on Friday night.
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The first African-American to ever be signed by the Chicago Cubs, Banks continued the work of men like Jackie Robinson of breaking racial barriers in Major League Baseball.
In a 19-year career exclusively with the Chicago Cubs from 1953 to 1971, Banks recorded 512 home runs, 2,583 hits, 1,636 RBIs and a batting average of .274. He was a two-time NL Most Valuable Player in 1958 and 1959, an 11-time All-Star, a two-time NL Home Run Champion in 1958 and 1960, a two-time RBI Champion in 1958 and 1959, and won the prestigious Golden Glove award in 1960. His #14 jersey was retired by the Cubs in 1982. Unfortunately for Banks, he also holds the more dubious record of games played without a single post-season playoff appearance with 2,528 games played.
In 1977, Banks was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame on his first year of eligibility. He received votes on 321 of the 383 ballots. In 1999, he was named to the Major League Baseball All-Century team at Shortstop alongside Cal Ripken Jr. and Honus Wagner.
In 2013, Banks was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Barack Obama, and reportedly presented President Barack Obama with a bat that had belonged to Jackie Robinson.
“Michelle and I send our condolences to the family of Ernie Banks, and to every Chicagoan and baseball fan who loved him… Ernie came up through the Negro Leagues, making $7 a day. He became the first African-American to play for the Chicago Cubs, and the first number the team retired.”