#TBT Sports Blog: Chicago Cubs’ Ernie Banks

Mr. Cub Ernie Banks

Today’s #TBT sport blogs remembers Ernie Banks, the greatest player in Chicago Cubs history.

To Banks, the Friendly Confines of Wrigley Field served as home for 19 Major League Baseball seasons.

Affectionately known as Mr. Cub, the soft spoken Ernie Banks easily stole the hearts of loyal Chicago Cubs fans.

Defined by his passion and purpose for the game, Banks excelled in a multitude of ways for the only Major League Baseball team he ever knew.

However, during his lengthy and storied baseball career in Chicago, the beloved #14 amazingly never saw post season action. Never!

Ernie Banks Enjoyed Only 1 Winning Season in 19 Years

Ironically, Banks experienced 18 out of 19 losing seasons with the Chicago Cubs. As a result, he became known as the consummate good sport. He never complained openly about the Cubs’ losing ways.

Because of his bright smile, gentle spirit and always positive disposition, Banks also picked up the appropriate nickname Mr. Sunshine.

In spite of the Cubs’ futility, Banks gained a 1977 first ballot entry into the Baseball Hall of Fame. He posted impressive career statistics as both a shortstop and then first baseman for the Chicago Cubs.

A two-time National League MVP in 1958 and 1959, Banks retired with 512 dingers, 2,583 total hits and a lifetime .274 batting average.

Although Banks was named to baseball’s All-Century team in 1999, he often expressed during his playing days that he wanted to be remembered as more than a baseball player.

Fortunately, he has.

Since his retirement in 1972, Banks has been revered for the way he comported himself both on and off the baseball field.

In addition to his stellar play as an athlete, Banks brilliantly followed Jackie Robinson’s lead as an esteemed example of baseball integration.

The Baseball Hall of Fame player also was greatly respected for advocating for assistance for Chicago’s poor.

In 2013 President Barack Obama Presented Ernie Banks with Presidential Medal of Freedom

What is perhaps this Chicago sports legend’s greatest lifetime achievement came to fruition in 2013. That’s when President Barack Obama presented him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

The award not only acknowledged Banks’ outstanding baseball career, but, it recognized #14 as an extraordinary human being. Despite a quiet demeanor, Ernie fought racism in our country with an excellent and courageous spirit.

His example to overcome adversity through quiet strength and determination helped unite people of all races.

For that reason, Mr. Cub will always be remembered as more than the Chicago Cubs’ greatest player ever. It pleases me to pen this #TBT sports blog.

Ernie Banks will be forever recognized as both a hero and a great man who proudly represented baseball as the sport’s unofficial ambassador.

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MIKE – thee ultimate talking head on sports!

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