Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HR0312
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Full Text of HR0312  99th General Assembly




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2    WHEREAS, The members of the Illinois House of
3Representatives are saddened to learn of the death of Ernest
4"Ernie" Banks, who passed away on January 23, 2015; and
5    WHEREAS, Ernie Banks was born in Dallas, Texas on January
631, 1931; his parents were Eddie and Essie Banks; and
7    WHEREAS, Ernie Banks grew up in Dallas, where he attended
8church and Sunday school at St. Paul's Methodist Church; he was
9a gifted athlete, having attended Booker T. Washington High
10School and lettering in basketball, football, and track; he
11also played softball for the church team during the summer and
12served as a batboy for his father's baseball teams; and
13    WHEREAS, While playing softball, Ernie Banks was
14discovered by black newspaper publisher and ex-Negro League
15pitcher, William Blair; under Blair's guidance, he joined the
16nearby Amarillo Colts, a black semi-pro baseball team in
17Amarillo, Texas; he played briefly with the Colts before being
18recruited by the Negro Leagues' Kansas City Monarchs, a team
19whose alumni included Jackie Robinson and Satchel Paige; he
20made his debut with the Monarchs after graduating from high
21school in 1950; and



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1    WHEREAS, In 1951, Ernie Banks' time with the Monarchs was
2cut short when he was drafted into the United States Army; he
3served in Germany and Korea and was a flag bearer in the 45th
4Anti-Aircraft Artillery Battalion at Fort Bliss; while at Fort
5Bliss, he briefly played with the Harlem Globetrotters; and
6    WHEREAS, In 1953, Ernie Banks was discharged from the Army
7and returned home to play for the Monarchs; in September of
81953, the Chicago Cubs bought Ernie's contract from the
9Monarchs; on September 17, 1953, he made his Major League debut
10at Wrigley Field, and eventually played in 10 games; he was the
11Cubs' first African-American player and became one of a handful
12of former Negro League players who joined the Major Leagues;
14    WHEREAS, Ernie Banks was among the greatest and most
15popular players in the history of the game of baseball; over
16the course of 19 seasons, he was one of the most potent
17offensive threats in baseball and was a fan favorite for his
18charm and cheerful disposition; he hit 512 home runs,
19surpassing the 40-roundtrippers mark 5 times; he hit 277 of his
20home runs as a shortstop - a National League record; he holds
21the National League single-season mark for home runs by a
22shortstop with 47 in 1958; he was voted to the All-Star Team 14
23times and won the National League Most Valuable Player Award in
241958 and 1959, making him the first player to ever win the



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1National League MVP in consecutive seasons; and
2    WHEREAS, On December l, 1971, Ernie Banks retired as a
3player, but served as a coach for the Cubs from 1967 to 1973;
4on May 8, 1973, he took over the reins as manager of the Cubs,
5becoming the first African-American to manage a Major League
6team; and
7    WHEREAS, Ernie Banks was a roving instructor for the Cubs
8Minor League system from 1974 to 1976; he worked in the team's
9community relations department and served on the Cubs Board of
10Directors following the death of Philip Wrigley; he also served
11as an honorary manager during the 1984 playoffs, was a frequent
12attendee at special events, including Opening Day and the
13annual Cubs Convention, and represented the franchise at
14numerous Major League Baseball and charity events; and
15    WHEREAS, During and after his career in baseball, Ernie
16Banks ventured into civics, business, and politics; he ran for
17Alderman of Chicago's 8th Ward in 1962 under the campaign motto
18"Put a slugger into City Hall"; he was a partner in several
19business ventures and was one of the first black owners of a
20U.S. Ford Motor Company dealership; he also served on the
21boards of the Chicago Transit Authority, Jackson Park Hospital,
22the La Rabida Sanitarium, the Glenwood Home for Boys, the
23Metropolitan YMCA, the Joint Negro Appeal, the Woodlawn Boys



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1Club, the Chicago Rehabilitation Institute, and Big Brothers
2Big Sisters; and
3    WHEREAS, Ernie Banks was elected into the Baseball Hall of
4Fame in 1977 on the first ballot; he was the first player in
5Cubs history to have his number retired in 1982; his flag flies
6from the left-field foul pole at Wrigley Field to this day; he
7was inducted as a member of the Major League Baseball's
8All-Century Team and was honored on the field at the All-Star
9Game in Fenway Park in 1999; he was the first player in
10franchise history to be honored with a statue at Wrigley Field
11on March 31, 2008; and
12    WHEREAS, In 2008, Ernie Banks was named a Library of
13Congress Living Legend; in 2013, Ernie was presented with the
14Presidential Medal of Freedom, an award given to those who have
15made "an especially meritorious contribution to the security or
16national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural,
17or other significant public or private endeavors", by President
18Barack Obama; and
19    WHEREAS, Ernie Banks was preceded in death by his first
20wife, Eloyce Johnson Banks, whom he married in 1959; 5
21brothers, Samuel Banks, Benjamin Banks, Glover Banks, Robert
22Banks, and Eddie Banks, Jr.; and a sister, Frances Wilson; and



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1    WHEREAS, Ernie Banks is survived by his wife, Liz Banks; 2
2sons, Jerry (Theresa) Banks and Joey (Norma Jean) Banks; 2
3daughters, Jan Banks and Alyna Banks; a grandson, Marcelo
4Banks; a granddaughter, Courtney Dozier Banks; 3 sisters, Edna
5Warren, Estella Johnson, and Evelyn Lockhart; 2 brothers,
6Walter Banks and Donald Banks; and his many nieces, nephews,
7family, friends, and countless fans; and
8    WHEREAS, Ernie Banks will be honored for his countless
9achievements and his pioneering role in baseball history during
10the Chicago Cubs' opening night events on April 5, 2015;
11therefore, be it
14we, along with his family and friends, mourn the passing of
15former Chicago Cub legend Ernie Banks, "Mr. Cub", who will
16forever emphatically be remembered for his famous line, "Let's
17play two!"; and be it further
18    RESOLVED, That a suitable copy of this resolution be
19presented to the family of Ernie Banks as an expression of our