|Mr. Cub Ernie Banks|
It is appropriate because Banks, who passed away on January 23, was famous for "Let's play two." The former shortstop and firstbaseman was so enthusiastic that he would say this whenever he entered the clubhouse. Banks' number 14 has long since retired after a brilliant 19-year career, all with the Cubs.
In Banks' day doubleheaders were a once a week staple. Teams would play doubleheaders on Sunday and use Monday to travel. Now doubleheaders are used to make up games and the teams charge separate admissions by spacing them out in a day-night format. In the old days kids could by a bleacher ticket for 75 cents, pack a cooler with drinks and sandwiches and spend five or six hours cheering for their team and chasing home run balls.
Banks is probably looking down with disdain but at least they are playing two games. In fact, since last nights 13-inning game ended after midnight, the Reds and Cubs will complete three games on this date.
Banks joined the Cubs in September of 1953 at age 22.
The native of Dallas, Texas played for the Kansas City Monarchs of the Negro Leagues at the age of 19 after he was discovered playing fastpitch softball in his church league. Banks' high school Booker T Washington didn't have a baseball team.
Banks played in 10 games, hitting .310 with two home runs and six RBI.
At the age of 25, Banks led the National League with 47 home runs as a shortstop. He moved to firstbase in 1961.
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Banks retired after the 1971 season, never having participated in the World Series. He hit 512 home runs in his career. That total is second to Sammy Sosa's 545 home runs. Banks played in more Cubs' games (2,528), had more at-bats (9,421), more total bases (4,706) and more extra-base hits (1,009) than any player in Cubs' history.
Hence the nickname, Mr. Cub.
Professionally edited by ML Schirmer
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