Cubs Great Ernie Banks Dies at 83
One of the greatest shortstops in major league history has died.
The Chicago Cubs said Hall of Famer and two-time MVP Ernie Banks, known as “Mr. Cub,” died last night. He was 83.
Banks hit 512 home runs during his 19 major league seasons, including five years with at least 40.
He captured the NL Most Valuable Player award in 1958 and '59 and went to 11 All-Star games from 1955-69. But his Cubs never finished better than second place during his career, making him one of the greatest players to never appear in a postseason game.
His hitting was surpassed by his enthusiasm for the game. He was fond of saying, "It's a great day for baseball. Let's play two!"
Banks played for the Kansas City Monarchs in the Negro League for two years in 1950 and served in the US military for two years.
He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1977, his first year of eligibility. Banks also was selected to baseball's All-Century team in 1999. He did community and charity work in Chicago, and became the first black Ford Motor Company dealer in the United States.
Banks experienced segregation in his early days in the Majors, having to ride in the back of the team bus, and not being allowed to eat in restaurants or stay in hotels with his teammates.
In 2013, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his contribution to sports.
The team did not provide a cause of death. In 2013, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his contribution to sports.