Mitchell & Ness would like to wish you all a very happy Ernie Banks Day! This day 48 years ago was declared by Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley to be Ernie Banks Day city-wide. Mr. Cub, already an eleven-year veteran with the North Siders, saw his club fall 5-4 to the Pirates that day, but Banks was able to tally a run.
Banks is widely considered the greatest Cub in franchise history. Banks played 19 seasons in Chicago, his one and only team. Despite never achieving much team success, Banks was able to star for the club. A shortstop, then later first baseman, Banks won consecutive National League MVP's in 1958 and 1959. He was honored as an All-Star 14 times throughout his career.
Banks optimism shined among the the "Lovable Losers" the Cubs were during his career. Mr. Sunshine became a second nickname for Banks, as was his famous catchphrase, "It's a beautiful day for a ballgame... Let's play two!"
Banks hit 512 home runs with career, along with a then-record of 277 as a shortstop. Banks is still the Cubs record holder for games played, at-bats, extra base hits and total bases.
Banks' number 14 was the first number ever retired by the Cubs, and one of only six ever to retired by the franchise. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame on his first ballot in 1977. His bronze statue has resided outside the Friendly Confines of Wrigley Field since 2008. Banks, now aged 81, resisdes with his wife Liz outside Los Angeles.
Even though Ernie Banks Day may have been officially a one-time even, we like to celebrate it every year here at Mitchell & Ness. We honor the positivity and legendary play of Mr. Cub himself with some of our authentic jersey offerings, which you can check out below:
1969 Home Cubs Jersey
1969 Away Cubs Jersey