The Chicago Cubs and Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced Sunday that Ernie Banks’ Wrigley Field statue will be placed in Daley Plaza (50 W. Washington St.) this week from Wednesday morning through Saturday, allowing fans to honor and remember the Hall of Famer. And the team will continue flying No. 14 flags at Wrigley Field this week in Mr. Banks’ honor.
Ernie Banks passed away Friday night after suffering cardiac arrest at the age of 83.
Ernie Banks became the first player in Cubs history to be honored with a statue at Wrigley Field in 2008. Mayor Emanuel and the City of Chicago will host the statue, which has been temporarily removed from its home at the corner of Clark and Addison during the current phase of the Wrigley Field restoration project. The statue is being transported from a facility outside of the city where it is being restored and will be placed in Daley Plaza upon arrival in Chicago.
Mayor Emanuel called Banks a friend who was a great ambassador for the City.
“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,” said Mayor Emanuel in a statement. “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.”
“Ernie Banks was a great player and an even better person,” said Tom Ricketts, Chairman of the Cubs, in a statement. “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.”
Attorney Mark Bogen spoke for Mr. Banks’ wife, Liz, at a news conference Sunday about the passing of Ernie Banks.
The family announced at that time Mr. Banks passed away Friday from a heart attack at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.
“Ernie Banks was a wonderful husband, great father and grandfather. People have call Ernie Banks the ambassador of baseball, but in reality, he was the ambassador for humanity.”
According to Carrie Muskat, the Banks family created a Facebook page for fans to pay their respects online to Ernie Banks, “Ernie Banks Remembered.”