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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – A baseball legend is being remembered by many in his hometown of Dallas.
Ernie Banks was known as “Mr. Cub” for his many years playing for the Chicago Cubs, but it was in North Texas where his talent was first discovered.
The neighborhood where Ernie Banks grew up has changed a lot over the years. It used to be called North Dallas, and Freedman’s Town among other names.
Ernie banks lived here. He grew up in the North Dallas projects.
Ernie Banks is being remembered as one of the greatest players in baseball history and he was a product of Dallas.
Banks went to Booker T Washington High School long before it was a school for the performing arts.
Darryl Blair’s father, William Blair, was the founder of Elite News, and he was the man who discovered Bank’s talent here at Grigg’s Park.
“Now you’ve got to realize that in this day and age when the Negro League was at its pinnacle, they didn’t have baseball teams for black high schools,” explains Blair.
“[My Father] bought him a suit, put him on a train and sent him to Kansas City and that’s how the Ernie Banks story started.”
Banks played in the Negro League for the Kansas City Monarchs.
After he joined the Chicago Cubs Blair insisted banks remember his roots.
“Of course my daddy was angry with Ernie for a little while because he felt that Ernie forgot where you came from. But eventually Ernie came around and he started coming back to Dallas, started recognizing and acknowledging where he grew up,” says Blair.
“He was always trying to encourage somebody. That no matter what your struggle is now that you can come to greatness. Not greatness in baseball or any other thing, just greatness in life.”
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