Joining the Chicago Cubs in 1953, Banks would spend 18 years in the Windy City, first as their shortstop before transitioning to first base in 1962. His back-to-back MVP seasons in 1958-59 managed to elevate the miserable Cubs to fifth place in the standings those years, but it was not until divisional play in 1969 that the Cubs even came close to the postseason during Banks’ long career. He holds the record for most games played without appearing in a World Series. He also hit 512 home runs, appeared in fourteen All Star Games and could possibly be the most beloved athlete in Chicago history.
Ernie Banks became a professional ballplayer with the Kansas City Monarchs in 1950, three years after Jackie Robinson broke the color line. This makes him one of only seven members of the Hall who spent time in both the Negro and Major Leagues.
October 21, 2012