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Banks takes permanent place outside Wrigley

Cubs Hall of Famer Ernie Banks poses in front of his newly unveiled statue in front of Wrigley Field.

Associated Press

Cubs Hall of Famer Ernie Banks poses in front of his newly unveiled statue in front of Wrigley Field.

CHICAGO — Ernie Banks couldn't believe what he saw when he yanked away the blue tarp.

"Is that me?" he kept asking. "Is that me?"

There was No.  14 in his batting stance, clutching a Louisville Slugger and wearing a grin similar to the one on the real Mr. Cub during the ceremony.

The Cubs unveiled a statue outside Wrigley Field on Monday, and on a rainy day in which they were lucky to play one, let alone two, Banks saw nothing but sunshine.

In 1982, Banks became the first Cub to have his number retired. This time, he became the second to be immortalized in bronze, joining late broadcaster Harry Caray. The city declared it "Ernie Banks Day."

"This is a miracle," Banks, 77, said.

"So are you," one of the hundreds of fans lining Clark Street yelled back.

Cubs RHP Carlos Zambrano left the game against the Brewers in the seventh inning with a cramp in his right forearm.

REDS HONOR NUXHALL: The Reds paid tribute to former player and broadcaster Joe Nuxhall by wearing special jerseys before their opener. Coaches and players donned jerseys that had Nuxhall's No.  41 and his name on the back. Nuxhall died in November. Also, the Reds designated left-handed reliever Mike Stanton for assignment to the minors.

BLUE JAYS AT YANKEES, PPD.: The final opening day at Yankee Stadium was postponed because of rain. It was rescheduled for 7:05 tonight, previously an off day. Also, the Blue Jays and RF Alex Rios are ironing out the final details of a six-year contract extension through 2014 that would guarantee him about $64-million.

ROCKIES AT CARDINALS, PPD.: The game was postponed by rain in the third inning with St. Louis leading 5-1 on a home run by Albert Pujols. It was rescheduled for tonight, which had been an off day.

BRAVES: INF Scott Spiezio agreed to a minor-league deal, getting a second chance after he was released by the Cardinals in February for an arrest on drunken driving and assault charges.

INDIANS: All-Star C Victor Martinez left in the second inning after injuring his left hamstring while running to second base. He is day to day.

ROCKIES: Molson Coors Brewing Co. said it has signed a 10-year sponsorship agreement with the team. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

ROYALS: CF David DeJesus aggravated his sprained right and left in the third inning.

Banks takes permanent place outside Wrigley 03/31/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 3, 2010 11:12am]
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