All hail Ernie Banks: A star joins baseball's 'Bronze Age'

When the Chicago Cubs play their home opener on March 31, the team will immortalize Ernie Banks, who spent his entire 19-year career with the Cubs (1953-71), by unveiling a statue of him at Wrigley Field. The team is slow in honoring the man they call Mr. Cub in this way, given that 14 other teams have already erected statues to former playing greats. The club did, however, retire his uniform number in 1982, five years after he was elected to the baseball Hall of Fame – a career that saw him hit 512 home runs as a two-time National League MVP and perennial all-star shortstop. The teams that have unveiled statues to former players at their ballparks, with the number in parentheses, and the names of the greats:

St. Louis Cardinals (10): Bob Gibson; Lou Brock; Enos Slaughter; Red Schoendienst; Stan Musial; Dizzy Dean; Ozzie Smith; Rogers Hornsby; George Sisler, a star of the old St. Louis Browns; and James "Cool Papa" Bell, a Negro leagues great who played for the St. Louis Stars
Chicago White Sox (4): Nellie Fox; Luis Aparicio; Carlton Fisk; and Minnie Minoso
Cincinnati Reds (4): Joe Nuxhall; Ted Kluszewski; Ernie Lombardi; and Frank Robinson
Philadelphia Phillies (4): Richie Ashburn; Robin Roberts; Steve Carlton; and Mike Schmidt
Atlanta Braves (3): Hank Aaron; Phil Niekro; and Ty Cobb
Pittsburgh Pirates (3): Honus Wagner; Roberto Clemente; and Willie Stargell
Detroit Tigers (2): Ty Cobb and Al Kaline
Kansas City Royals (2): George Brett and Frank White
San Francisco Giants (2): Willie Mays and Willie McCovey
Milwaukee Brewers (1): Hank Aaron, in honor of his years with the Milwaukee Braves
Boston Red Sox (1): Ted Williams
Texas Rangers (1): Nolan Ryan
Baltimore Orioles (1): Babe Ruth, who never played for the Orioles but was born in Baltimore
San Diego Padres (1): Tony Gwynn
Chicago Cubs (1): Ernie Banks

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