Today in Sports History: January 19

In 1977, Chicago Cubs shortstop, Ernie Banks, was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

On September 17 1953, Banks was the first African American baseball player to make his debut in the MLB, as a Chicago Cub. Throughout his career in 1953-71, Banks became an 11-time All-Star, and was named the National League’s Most Valuable Player in two consecutive seasons, 1958 and 1959. 

In 1959, Banks was awarded the Sporting News Player of the Year Award and in 1960 he was awarded the Gold Glove Award.

He hit more than 40 home runs in five different seasons, which he led the National League during the 1958 and 1960 season in that category. He also led the league in the 1958–59 season in runs batted in. In his career, Banks hit 512 home runs and had 1,636 runs batted in.

In 1967, Banks was awarded the Lou Gehrig Memorial Award, and then in 1977 was inducted into the Hall of Fame, making him the eighth player to be elected in the first year of eligibility. 

In his later years, in 2011, Banks was awarded the Beacon Award and in 2013, Banks was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

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