(CHICAGO) The statue of Ernie Banks — smiling, bat cocked, ready to swing — which normally graces a corner outside Wrigley Field will be placed in Daley Plaza for four days this week to honor the legendary Cub who died Friday at the age of 83.
The statue will be relocated to Daley Plaza Wednesday and will be removed Saturday, allowing fans the chance to honor and remember the man known as “Mr. Cub,” the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting.
The statue normally sits outside the Friendly Confines at Clark and Addison but is being restored while the ballpark is under construction.
In 2008, Banks became the first player in Cubs history to be honored with a statue at Wrigley Field.
“Ernie Banks’ legacy extends far beyond his Hall of Fame stats. He was beloved by generations of people for the way he played on the field and – more importantly – for the kind and warm person he was off the field,” Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in a statement Sunday.
“We are bringing Ernie’s statue to Daley Plaza to honor not just one of the best ballplayers of all time, but a great man who made our city proud from the day we first met him in 1953.”
Banks was a lifelong Cub who played for 19 seasons, was a 14-time All-Star, holds numerous records and was inducted into Baseball’s Hall of Fame in 1977.
“Ernie Banks was a great player and an even better person,” Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts said in a statement released by Emanuel’s office. “He was a kind, gentle man who loved his fans as much as they loved him. We couldn’t think of a better way to honor Ernie than to allow those fans a way to pay their final respects to this great man.”
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