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Ernie Banks' 500th Home Run

“Mr. Sunshine,” Ernie Banks

Credit: Sun-Times Media file photo

On May 12, 1970, Ernie Banks swung his way into Major League Baseball history with his 500th home run. The historic moment came in the second inning when Banks faced Atlanta Braves pitcher, Pat Jarvis, and launched one into left center field.

Beloved for his charisma and zeal for the game, “Mr. Cub” Ernie Banks was a Chicago crowd favorite for almost 20 years. His motto “Let’s play two!” embodied an approach to baseball rarely seen in a ball player. He loved the game and that made everyone else love it too. Actor and baseball enthusiast Joe Mantegna said of Banks, “[He] never acted like anything but a winner. He was a symbol of the Cub fan’s undiminishing resilience. If he could be happy to come to the park each afternoon, then so could we.”