Ernie Banks died Friday night at the age of 83.
Banks was a Hall of Fame shortstop and first baseman who spent his entire career with the Chicago Cubs from 1953 to 1971.
Over those 19 years, Banks hit .274/.330/.500 and hit 512 home runs. He took home back-to-back National League Most Valuable Player awards in 1958 and 1959.
In 1958, Banks hit .313/.366/.614 and led the National League with 47 home runs and added 119 runs scored, 11 triples, and 129 RBI. All of that was good enough for 9.4 WAR.
In 1959, he hit .304/.374/.596 with 45 home runs and a league-leading 143 RBI. He also posted a 156 OPS+ and drew a league-best 20 intentional walks. All-in-all, he posted 10.2 WAR.
The slugging shortstop also played in fourteen All-Star games during his prestigious career, won two Gold Glove awards, and led the NL in both home runs and runs batted in on two different occasions each.
In 1999, Banks was named to Major League Baseball’s All-Century Team.
Banks was a legend in Chicago and to this day is often referred to as “Mr. Cub.” He was also the first player in Cubs history to have his uniform number – No. 14 – retired by the team.
He was inducted into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame in 1977 and is widely-regarded as one of the greatest players of all-time.
Beyond his on the field contributions, Banks was beloved throughout the sport and among the public for his bubbling personality.
He is credited with coining the phrase “Friendly Confines” in reference to Wrigley Field and could often be heard saying “Let’s play two!” upon arriving at the ballpark each day.
Between his on-field talent, positive attitude, and infectious spririt, Banks was truly a very special player and a wonderful man.
The baseball world lost one of the good ones today.