(CBS) – Ernie Banks, the legendary Chicago baseball player known as “Mr. Cub,” died Friday night, a family attorney said.
He was 83.
The announcement came Friday evening from Chicago lawyer Mark Bogen, who said he was authorized by Banks’ widow to confirm the news to the media. A news conference was planned for Sunday at noon in Chicago, he said.
Bogen declined further comment.
Born in January 1931, Banks was an infielder who spent his entire career with the Chicago Cubs, from 1953 to 1971. He was an 11-time All-Star and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1977, his first year of eligibility.
Banks hit 512 career home runs, which is tied for 22nd all-time. He was a career .274 hitter and had 1,636 RBIs, 29th all-time.
Banks ranks second in Cubs franchise history in home runs, RBIs and hits (2,583).
Over the course of his career, Banks was a fan favorite. That was a testament to his determined play and infectious positive attitude as the best player on teams that were often bad. One of his famous lines was “Let’s play two,” the root of which was his joy to take the diamond in front of the Wrigley Field faithful.
For all of Banks’ effort and brilliance, he never made the postseason once in his career. He almost did in 1969, before the Cubs infamously blew a big lead over the Mets by losing 17 of their last 25 games.
In 1982, Banks had his No. 14 jersey retired, the first Cubs player to receive such an honor. In 2008, the Cubs unveiled a statue outside Wrigley Field that honored him.
In 2013, President Barack Obama awarded Banks the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
News of Banks’ passing sent shockwaves through the sports world and among fans. The Twitterverse was filled with tributes to “Mr. Cub.”