Ernie Banks, the Chicago Cubs\’ great Hall of Fame shortstop and, by all accounts, one of the nicest, most upbeat gentlemen of baseball, has died in Chicago at the age of 83. The cause of death has not yet been announced.
As a teenager, Mr. Banks was a star in the Negro leagues. He became a Chicago Cub in 1953, and remained a Cub throughout an illustrious 19 year career which included 2 Most Valuable Player awards (in consecutive years, 1958 and 1959) and 512 home runs – unheard of for a shortstop, because the position requires speed and agility rather than bulk and strength. Banks learned how to use his wrists to drive baseballs into the seats…and, by so doing, became a human tutorial for other players his size.
As much as his baseball prowess, Ernie Banks was known for an unfailingly cheerful disposition, and his signature love-of-baseball comment “Let\’s play two”.
If anyone can find a person on planet earth who ever heard a bad word from, or about, this man, let me know…because it will be a major sports scoop.
You don\’t often find people like this, on or off a baseball field. How said that we have lost one of them.
May Ernie Banks rest in peace.