Chicago Cubs Greatest All-Time Players: No. 3 – Ernie Banks
Mr. Cub. Anytime your nickname includes the name of the franchise you spent your entire career with, you can bet on being mentioned among the best to ever put on its uniform. That is certainly the case with Ernie Banks.
Despite spending 19 years with the Cubs, Banks never played in a single postseason game. That being said, he did everything in his power to get the team into October and capture that long-sought World Series title.
He was an All-Star in 14 of his 19 seasons with the team, winning back-to-back National League MVP awards in 1958 and 1959. He had a four-year stretch in the late-50s and early-60s where he was an unstoppable force at the dish, averaging 41 long balls, 114 RBI and a 146 OPS+. During that first MVP campaign, his 47 home runs put him among the elite when it comes to sluggers in the game’s history.
After hitting 45 the next year and 41 in 1960, his power started to diminish – although he remained an above-average offensive player well into his late-30s. Obviously, statistically speaking, the evidence is all there. Banks isn’t just one of the best Cubs players ever – he’s one of the best players in Major League Baseball history.
But what I’ll always appreciate more than anything is his unyielding optimism and love for the game. I think we all agree. It’s always a good day to ‘Play Two’.
Accomplishments & Awards
- Two-time NL MVP Winner (1958, 1959)
- Fourteen-time All-Star
- Gold Glove Winner