8/13 Cubs to honor Ernie

The Cubs and Ricketts family will recognize Hall of Famer Ernie Banks in a pregame ceremony tonight for his recent honor of receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack H. Obama. Former teammate and fellow Hall of Famer Billy Williams will honor his friend on the field, and Banks will follow with an acknowledgement to the crowd.

The ceremony will begin at approximately 6:45 p.m. CT. Fans interested in viewing the ceremony may still purchase game tickets at Cubs.com.

The Medal of Freedom is the highest honor awarded to civilians in the United States. It was established in 1963 by President John F. Kennedy and is presented to those who have made “an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.”

Banks joins a distinguished list of baseball players to receive this prestigious award, including Hank Aaron (2002), Roberto Clemente (2003) Joe DiMaggio (1977), Stan Musial (2011), Buck O’Neil (2006), Frank Robinson (2005), Jackie Robinson (1984) and Ted Williams (1991).

3 Comments

Ernie Banks is a gem! So glad he is receiving this award! Not only a great baseball player but also has a gentleness and kindness that shines.

A little history as I recall: Ernie Banks was the ICON of Cub ICONs in my opinion. I have more memories of Ernie than any other Cub. In the late 60′s, the manager Leo Durocher was not a huge Banks fan. He had no choice but to keep & play Banks, becuase Chicago loved the guy.
Ernie’s knees started bothering him in 1966, that was Durocher’s first season as manager. Durocher wanted Ernie replaced. The initial trade with the Phillies was, Bob Buhl for a 1st Baseman named Herrnstein. The Phillies wanted to expand the trade needing another starter. So Cubs GM Holland traded Bob Buel and Larry Jackson to the Phillies for 1B Herrnstein, OF Adolpho Phillips and Pitcher Ferguson Jenkins. Herrnstein was the main player in the deal for the Cubs at the time.
Of course no one could possibly replace Ernie Banks, he was and is the Cubs ICON. We all know Jenkins turned out to be the main player in that trade. Herrnstein played a little for the Braves and was never heard from again.

May 8th 1973, Ernie Banks now a coach for the Cubs under Whitey Lockman, the Cubs manager that year. In a game against the Padres, Whitey was booted from the game by the umpire.
Whitey handed the managers duties over to Ernie Banks, The Cubs won the game 3-2 in 12 innings, making Ernie Banks the first Black Manager and the first Black Manager to win a ML game.

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