Hall of Famer Ernie Banks, nicknamed “Mr. Cub”, was a member of 14 NL All-Star teams.
“There’s sunshine, fresh air, and the team’s behind us. Let’s play two.”
Ernie Banks reprised his signature line at his Hall of Fame induction speech in 1977. His sunny disposition was perfect for the “Friendly Confines” of Wrigley Field, last outpost of exclusively day baseball.
Perhaps no player defines his team as thoroughly as “Mr. Cub,” who played with joy and immense talent for the Cubs from 1953-71.
A native of Dallas, Texas, 19-year-old Ernie Banks debuted for the Kansas City Monarchs of the Negro Leagues in 1950. After two years in the Army, Banks returned to the Monarchs, who sold his contract to the Chicago Cubs in 1953. His debut on Sept. 17 marked the first appearance of an African-American player for the franchise.