Slugger Museum honors Ernie Banks with 'Living Legend' Award - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Slugger Museum honors Ernie Banks with 'Living Legend' Award

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory will recognize Baseball Hall of Famer and "Mr. Cub", Ernie Banks, with its 2010 Living Legend Award on Friday, November 12. Banks will be honored and presented the award during a special recognition ceremony that kicks off the Seventh Annual Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory Auction.

The auction is a partnership with Hunt Auctions, Inc., and will feature some of the most sought after baseball memorabilia in the world; including Babe Ruth's autographed 702nd home run ball.

"Ernie Banks is known not only for being one of the greatest players of all time, but also one of the nicest and most caring players in Major League Baseball," said Anne Jewell, Executive Director of Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory. "The Living Legend Award recognizes greatness both on and off the field and Ernie Banks played the game with character and pride throughout his entire career. We are thrilled to honor "Mr. Cub" as our 2010 Living Legend," she said.

Just as he did during his 19]year professional career, Banks has approached life after baseball with his trademark enthusiasm and commitment to being the best. He has remained loyal to the game he loves and is actively involved as an unofficial ambassador for Major League Baseball.

Banks' baseball career began in 1950 when he signed with the Kansas City Monarchs of the Negro American League. He broke into the major leagues in 1953 as the Chicago Cubs first African]American player and played his entire career on the North Side; first as a shortstop, then at first base.

The two]time National League Most Valuable Player (1958, 59) was selected to 14 All]Star teams and won a Gold Glove in 1960. A first ballot inductee into the Baseball Hall of Fame, Banks hit 512 home runs in his career and amassed 40 or more in five seasons including 47 in 1958.

His Number 14 was retired by the Cubs in 1982 and is the first number ever retired by the organization. He is further honored outside Wrigley Field with a bronze sculpture of a smiling Banks at the plate, Louisville Slugger in hand.

Nowadays Banks also devotes his time and energy to his foundation – Ernie Banks Live Above & Beyond Foundation. The non]profit organization provides financial assistance for underprivileged youth and disadvantaged seniors to receive healthcare, better opportunities, and raise self]esteem.

"During my baseball career I was a very proud member of the Louisville Slugger family and so I am deeply honored to be receiving the Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory Living Legend Award," said Ernie Banks. "I am delighted that Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory is supporting the work of the Live Above and Beyond Foundation which focuses on helping our young and old better their communities and build self]esteem" he said.

Ernie Banks' passion to help underprivileged youths and disadvantaged seniors, inspired Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory to produce a limited edition S2 model collector bat autographed by "Mr. Cub". Only 100 signed bats are available and the cost is $200 and includes two tickets to the invitation]only Living Legend celebration. For more information or to purchase a bat, call 502]588]7289 or email giftshop@slugger.com.

Past recipients of Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory's Living Legend Award include Hank Aaron (2009), Frank Robinson (2008) and Ken Griffey, Jr. (2007).

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