Banks latest HOFer to gain Presidential Medal of Freedom

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Updated: August 8, 2013

Chicago, IL (Sports Network) – Chicago Cubs Hall of Famer Ernie Banks has been
named a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest honor
given to citizens in the United States.

“I am humbled and honored to receive this great award and to be among such
distinguished honorees,” said Banks. “I have spent my life trying to help
others enjoy and appreciate the sport I love. I thank President Obama for all
his efforts. The Chicago Cubs and Cubs fans everywhere share in this award, as
their support makes me proud to continue to work on behalf of America’s
greatest game.”

Dubbed “Mr. Cub,” Banks suited up on Chicago’s North Side from 1953-71,
slugging 512 home runs over 19 seasons. The 82-year-old was elected to
Cooperstown in 1977.

“This honor is well deserved for a man who has done so much for the game of
baseball, said Tom Ricketts, chairman of the Cubs. “His contributions on and
off the field have made a monumental impact to society. He is a great American
ambassador who continues to spend his time and effort helping others love and
appreciate Americas pastime.”

Other former major leaguers to be so honored by the President include Stan
Musial (2011), Buck O’Neil (2006), Frank Robinson (2005), Roberto Clemente
(2003), Hank Aaron (2002), Ted Williams (1991), Jackie Robinson (1984) and Joe
DiMaggio (1977).