Today in Sports History: September 17

By Veronica An

Ernie Banks became the first African American player for the Chicago Cubs in 1953, after debuting at age 19 in the Kansas City Monarchs of the Negro leagues in 1950. Banks played shortstop and first base for the Cubs until 1971. As shortstop he was awarded a gold glove in 1960 and led all NL shortstops in fielding percentage, double plays, games, put-outs, and assists. He was a three-time .300 hitter who compiled a lifetime batting average of .274, along with 2583 hits, 1305 runs scored, and 1636 runs batted in. Banks ended his career with 512 home runs and was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1977, the first year of eligibility.

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