Number retired on 22 August 1982
|Debut||17 Sept. 1953 (CHC)|
|Final Game||26 Sept. 1971 (CHC)|
|Total Games||2,528 batting|
|World Series Teams||(none)|
|Allstar Teams||1955, 1956,|
|League Leader RBIs (1958-129; 1959-143)|
|League Leader Home Runs (1958-47; 1960-41)|
|Gold Glove (1960)|
|Lou Gehrig Memorial Award (1967)|
|National Baseball Hall of Fame (1977)|
Ernest "Ernie" Banks (January 31, 1931 – January 23, 2015), was an American Major League baseball player who played his entire career with the Chicago Cubs (1953-1971). Banks is a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame. His nickname was Mr. Cub and Mr. Sunshine.
is a member of
Hall of Fame
Banks signed with the Kansas City Monarchs of the Negro American League in 1950 and broke into the major leagues in 1953 with the Chicago Cubs as their first black player. He played for the Cubs his entire career, starting at shortstop and moving to first base in 1962. Banks wore number 14 as a Cub, and is one of only four Cubs players who have had their number retired by the organization. He is well known for his catch phrase of, "It's a beautiful day for a ballgame... Let's play two!", expressing his wish to play a double-header every day out of his pure love for the game of baseball, especially in his self-described "friendly confines of Wrigley Field." In 1955, he set the record for grand slams in a single season, at an amazing 5. (This record stood for over twenty years.)
Banks won the National League Most Valuable Player Award twice, in 1958 and 1959. This feat is amazing, since the Cubs were never pennant contenders during Banks' career and this award is usually given to players who contribute substantially to their teams' championship drives. A contemporary sportswriter remarked that, "Without Ernie Banks, the Cubs would have finished the season in Albuquerque!"
On September 2, 1965, Banks hit his 400th home run, and five years later, on May 12, 1970 at Chicago's Wrigley Field, hit his 500th home run. Banks finished his career with 512 home runs, the most ever by a shortstop. Ernie Banks also currently holds the record for most extra base hits by a Cub with 1,009.
On May 8, 1973, Cubs manager Whitey Lockman was ejected from the game. Coach Ernie Banks filled in as manager for the two innings of the 12-inning 3-2 win over the San Diego Padres. Thus, he was technically, if not officially, MLB's first black manager, predating Frank Robinson's hiring by almost two years.
Banks died of a heart attack at a Chicago hospital on January 23, 2015, eight days before his 84th birthday.
Despite never having appeared in a postseason game, Banks is regarded as the most popular baseball player in Chicago history, leading to his nickname of "Mr. Cub." On August 22, 1982, his uniform number 14 became the first to be retired by the Cubs. It had already been de facto retired for nearly 9 years, not having been assigned to anyone else following Banks' retirement from the coaching ranks.
In 1999, he ranked Number 38 on The Sporting News list of Baseball's Greatest Players, and was elected to the Major League Baseball All-Century Team.
Ernie Banks has been rumored to be part of a group looking into buying the Chicago Cubs, in case the Tribune Company decides to sell the club, as is also rumored.
- Height: 6'- 1"
- Weight: 180 lb (82 kg)
- Bats: Right
- Throws: Right
- Uniform number: 14
- Batting average: .274
- Hits: 2,583
- RBIs: 1,636
- Home runs: 512
- Cubs' all-time leader:
- Games played (2,528)
- At-bats (9,421)
- Total bases (4,706)
- Major League Single Season Records
- 5 grand slam home runs in 1955
Years led league by statistical category
- Shortstop Major League Leader:
- Fielding Average - 1 time
- Fewest errors - 1 time
- National League Leader:
- Magazine covers
- First black MLB players by team and date
- 500 home run club
- Players Never to Play Minor League Baseball
- DHL Hometown Heroes
- Baseball Hall of Fame
- Negor League Baseball Museum
- Baseball-Reference.com - Major league career statistics
- Baseball Library page for Banks
- Ernie @ The Baseball Page.com
- Ernie's page @ Baseball Almanac.com
- View all of Ernie's Topps Baseball Cards
- Interview in The Heckler
- Ernie Banks biography and video interview excerpts by The National Visionary Leadership Project
|National League Home Run Champion
|National League RBI Champion
|National League Most Valuable Player
|National League Home Run Champion
|Lou Gehrig Memorial Award
|Major League Baseball | MLB All-Century Team|
Nolan Ryan | Sandy Koufax | Cy Young | Roger Clemens | Bob Gibson | Walter Johnson | Warren Spahn | Christy Mathewson | Lefty Grove