We all knew it was coming. But regardless, it’s still something to be excited about. (Especially for a guy who has tickets to Opening Night on April 5).
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The Chicago Cubs are set to honor Hall of Famer and Cubs legend Ernie Banks, who passed away this winter from a reported heart attack, with a patch that will be worn on both home and away jerseys all season – as well as special ceremonies set for Opening Night prior to the Cubs’ taking on the division rival St. Louis Cardinals at the Friendly Confines.
Chicago Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts released a statement on the team honoring Banks during the upcoming season.
"“There is no level of recognition that can properly acknowledge how much Ernie Banks meant to this franchise and fan base. Collectively, we must ensure Mr. Cub’s legacy rightfully lives on at the Friendly Confines and with future generations of baseball fans.”"
Fans in attendance on Opening Night (again, myself included – I’m a little excited about this) – will receive a commemorative pin ahead of the game. Not only will it be a wonderful addition to the memorabilia collection of Cubs fans everywhere, but thankfully, it’s not a plush throw that we have to tote around for nine innings. But that’s neither here nor there.
Banks spent 19 seasons with the team and is the most well-recognized player in Chicago Cubs history – and with good reason. Here’s an excerpt from our post honoring the Hall of Famer following his death, detailing just a handful of his accomplishments.
After breaking the color barrier within the Cubs organization, Banks went on to become the face of the franchise, finishing in the top ten of the National League MVP voting on five separate occasions, including his back-to-back MVP awards in 1958 and 1959, combining to hit 92 home runs and drive in 272 runs in 309 games between the two seasons.
And, as we noted in that piece, it’s hard to even try to quantify Banks’ contributions to both the Cubs and the game, as a whole. But this step taken by the organization, however expected it may be, is something we should all look forward to come Opening Night in early April.