Author Topic: 'Mr. Cub' Ernie Banks dies at 83  (Read 945 times)

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'Mr. Cub' Ernie Banks dies at 83
« on: January 24, 2015, 12:57:16 pm »
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Ernie Banks, the man whose Hall of Fame baseball career was defined by his passion and energy and was only surpassed by his kindness and loyalty, died on Friday. He was 83.

A family spokesman confirmed the news late Friday evening. Few details were made available, but it was announced that a news conference will be held at noon CST on Sunday in Chicago.

Known the world over as "Mr. Cub," Banks broke in on Chicago's North Side in 1953 and never left. Not only would Chicago be the only stop in a baseball career that spanned 19 seasons, it's where his heart remained for 43 years after his retirement. He loved the city, he loved Cubs fans and he loved being their ambassador to points all over the world. That love was returned tenfold, and will no doubt continue to be expressed to his family as it grieves. The sports world immediately took to Twitter to react to his passing.

On the field, Banks was simply one of the best to ever play the game. Over those 19 seasons, he hit .274/.330/.500 with 2,583 hits, 512 homers, 1,636 RBI and 1,305 runs scored. Those numbers earned Banks 14 All-Star Game selections and two MVP awards, in addition to baseball's ultimate honor, induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Banks was inducted in his first ballot, receiving 83.8 percent of the vote in 1977.

Banks was the anchor in a lineup that also featured Hall of Famers Billy Williams and Ron Santo. For a time, he was an anchor on the field as well, spending many of his early days manning shortstop, baseball's most important defensive position. Most importantly, though, Banks was an anchor in the clubhouse and in the community, always offering an optimistic take or inspirational word to brighten the team's outlook or the day of a fan he'd only met moments before.

His most famous saying "Let's play two!" speaks to the seemingly endless enthusiasm with which he played and lived. If he could have, he would have played two every day, and  maybe even three if someone asked. That never changed, even as the organization he loved moved further and further from a World Series victory. It's such a shame, too, that Banks won't live to see a Cubs world championship. But there's no doubt he'd simply smile and say he'll be more happy for the fans who eventually will enjoy that moment.

He was a one-of-a-kind baseball player and a one-of-a-kind person that defined everything that's good about sports. But it's the entire world that was better off for having known him.

a) An idiot who doesn't know what he's talking about.
b) A liar who is a fan who can't admit it to himself or others."