The baseball and Cubs community has lost one of the greats in former Cubs legend, Ernie Banks. Banks was 83 years old. A career-long Cub, Banks remained a fan favorite long after his retirement from baseball in 1971. Banks was known for his positive attitude and tremendous playing ability. Banks, who never saw the postseason, played his entire career for the Cubs was a member of the star-crossed 1969 team that featured future hall of famers such as Ron Santo and Fergie Jenkins. No word has been released relating to a cause of death.
Banks was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1977 on his first ballot, and slugged 512 home runs, with 1636 RBI, and a career .274 batting average. Even more impressive is the fact that Banks played much of his career during an era were pitching largely dominated all facets of the game, culminating in the legendary 1968 year of the pitcher that saw NL foe, Bob Gibson post the lowest ERA of any qualifying pitcher in the history of the sport.
Banks remained a fan favorite, and was a fixture at Cubs Convention from its start until 2014. His jovial attitude inspired many, and his famous “Let’s Play Two” line has been heard across the baseball community. Even in the twilight of his career, Banks still maintained that same youthful energy. Banks was also a fantastic fielder, playing two difficult positions at shortstop and at first base. He twice won the MVP award in 1958 and 1959, which is a testament to his skill as player on a last place team. He was named to the all-century team by the fans and his number 14 was retired by the Cubs. Banks’ legacy will never be forgotten by Cubs fans and baseball fans everywhere.
Our thoughts are with his family, and fans across the world at this time.