Chicago Cubs icon Ernie Banks passes away


Chicago Cubs icon Ernie Banks passed away on Friday at the age of 83. On the behalf of Redbird Rants, I would like to offer my condolences to the Chicago Cubs, Cubs fans, and Banks’ family.

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My love and respect for the game of baseball transcends any rivalry–yes, including the one between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Chicago Cubs. Banks was one of baseball’s greats and in some ways, I do feel bad for him never winning a World Series ring. If Banks is not at the top of the list amongst the greatest players to have never won a World Series, he’s certainly in the top ten. The 14-time All-Star won back-to-back National League MVP Awards and played in 2,528 games without appearing in the postseason.

In late 2013 and early 2014, I read a few books that talk about how the shortstop got away from the St. Louis Cardinals. Those articles can be found here and here. It’s certainly a case of what could have been had things gone bit a differently for both Banks and St. Louis.

In 324 games played against the Cardinals, the slugger hit .277/.354/.498 with 64 home runs and 218 runs batted in.

Even though Banks never played in the postseason, he’s one of the greats that people admire for his eternal optimism. In this current era in which it is rare to find a player that is playing for a single team in his career, Banks did just that. From late in the 1953 season through the end of the 1971 season, Banks played for one team.

Banks was to the Chicago Cubs what Stan Musial was to the Cardinals. Banks’ passing comes just over two years to the day that The Man moved on to the baseball game in the sky. He joins Hall of Famers Tony Gwynn, Ralph Kiner, and Musial in having passed away since the start of 2013.

Banks would have turned 84 years old on January 31, 2015.