The year is 1970. The Cubs were sparingly using their 39-year-old legend Ernie Banks, as he was designated to a reserve role. However, on May 12 of Banks’ age-39 season, the legend further wrote himself into the record books. Mr. Cub finally hit his 500th career home run after much anticipation.
Banks’ daughter said she wanted her dad to “get it over with” in anticipation of the monumental milestone. At the time, Banks was only the ninth player in the MLB to exceed the home run mark.
What makes the day even more interesting was that Banks had two RBI’s that day, good for his 1,600th and 1,601st career RBI’s. May 12, 1970 was a day that Ernie Banks really cemented his place in Cubs’ history as one of the greatest to ever wear the Cubbie blue pinstripes.
Over the course of his career, Banks slashed .274/.330/.500 in 19 seasons. The two-time MVP was also a 14-time All-Star, and Gold Glove winner with the Cubs. By the end of his career, Banks hit 512 home runs and added 1,636 RBI’s.
There are many notable reasons that Mr. Cub is immortalized outside of Wrigley Field. The accolades, the memories, and his infectious personality truly made Mr. Cub not only worthy of his nickname, but the ultimate Cubs’ legend. 51 years ago today, he cemented his place in Cubs history.