Friday, January 23, 2015

"Mr. Cub" Ernie Banks dies at the age of 83


They are playing a heck of a double header in Heaven today.

Hall of Fame slugger and two-time MVP "Mr. Cub" Ernie Banks passed away on Friday night at the age of 83.

"Words cannot express how important Ernie Banks will always be to the Chicago Cubs, the city of Chicago and Major League Baseball. He was one of the greatest players of all time. He was a pioneer in the major leagues. And more importantly, he was the warmest and most sincere person I've ever known.

"Approachable, ever optimistic and kind hearted, Ernie Banks is and always will be Mr. Cub. My family and I grieve the loss of such a great and good-hearted man, but we look forward to celebrating Ernie's life in the days ahead," Tom Ricketts, chairman of the Cubs, said.

“Ernie Banks was more than a baseball player. He was one of Chicago’s greatest ambassadors. He loved this city as much as he loved — and lived for — the game of baseball.

"This year, during every Cubs game, you can bet that No.14 will be watching over his team. And if we’re lucky, it’ll be a beautiful day for not just one ballgame, but two. My deepest sympathy to his wife, Liz, family, and friends,” Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in a written statement.

"We've got the setting: sunshine, fresh air. We've got the team behind us. So, let's play two," Banks said during his Hall of Fame induction speech in 1977.

Before the start of the 2008 season, a statue of Banks was unveiled near the corner of Clark and Addison outside of Wrigley Field..

“When I am not here, this will be here.

“I wanted to finish my career with one team, in one city, one mayor, one park, one owner. I did that.

“The Wrigleys owned the team. We played all of our home games at Wrigley Field during the daytime. So my career was very unique and I am proud of it.

"I have been involved in the city of Chicago and with Little Leagues all around the city and suburbs. It was a fun and enjoyable time both on the field and off the field.

"Now I meet a lot of people who used to come out to Wrigley Field when they were kids and they are older now. They still remember those days," Banks said at the ceremony to unveil the statue.

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