Chicago Cubs Hall of Famer Ernie Banks died earlier this evening at a Chicago hospital. Banks, known as 'Mr. Cub' was 83 years old.

Banks, the first African-American player to play for Chicago, joined the team in 1953. Over he next 19 years he earned All-Star honors fourteen times and was back-to-back National League MVP in 1958 and 1959. During his career he hit 512 home runs while amassing more than nearly 2600 hits and more than 1600 RBI.

He later became the first player to have his number (14) retired by the Cubs.

In announcing Banks passing, the Cubs released the following statement:

'Words cannot express how important Ernie Banks will always be to the Chicago Cubs, the city of Chicago and Major League Baseball. He was one of the greatest players of all time. He was a pioneer in the major leagues. And more importantly, he was the warmest and most sincere person I've ever known.'

'Approachable, ever optimistic and kind hearted, Ernie Banks is and always will be Mr. Cub. My family and I grieve the loss of such a great and good-hearted man, but we look forward to celebrating Ernie's life in the days ahead.'