Remembering “Mr. Cub” Ernie Banks


The Teamsters Union is mourning the passing of “Mr. Cub” Ernie Banks, who served as a Teamster organizer in the off-season. Banks passed away on Jan. 23. 2015.

Baseball Hall of Famer Banks was always a favorite with Chicago Cubs fans during his 19-year career—and with Chicago Teamsters. Banks, noted for his friendly, down-to-earth disposition, excellent all-round play and his powerful home runs, also put his skills to use for the union.

Banks served as an organizer in the off-season at Local 743 for a number of years, focusing his efforts on warehouse and mail order workers in the Chicago area. Banks also served as advisor for the sports program at Local 743, which as you might guess had a heavy emphasis on baseball.

Banks was spotted by the Cubs when playing for the Kansas City Monarchs of the Negro American League and signed to a major league contract with the team in 1953. Banks was chosen to play in the All-Star Game during 11 seasons, was twice voted the National League Most Valuable Player and hit 512 home runs during his time with the Cubs.

Chicago Teamsters turned up at Wrigley Field in droves and proudly cheered for their fellow member on Ernie Banks Day in 1964. It was just one occasion for Teamsters to show support for Banks, whose love for the game prompted his signature phrase, “Let’s play two!”