CHICAGO (AP) — Hall of Fame slugger Ernie Banks, the two-time MVP who never lost his boundless enthusiasm for baseball despite years of playing on losing Chicago Cubs teams, died Friday night. He was 83. The Cubs announced Banks' death, but did not provide a cause. "Mr. Cub" hit 512 home runs during his 19-year career, including five seasons with 40 or more. He was fond of saying, "It's a great day for baseball. Let's play two!" That remains a catchphrase at Wrigley Field to this day. "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," Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts said in a statement. "He was a pioneer in the major leagues. And more importantly, he was the warmest and most sincere person I've ever known."

CHICAGO (AP) — Hall of Fame slugger Ernie Banks is being remembered as an optimist who broke barriers and was an ambassador of Chicago.

The Cubs announced the 83-year-old died Friday. A two-time MVP, "Mr. Cub" hit 512 home runs during his 19-year career, including five seasons with 40 or more.

Condolences and remembrances poured in Saturday from the White House, state, city and local leaders.

In a Saturday statement, President Barack Obama says Banks was an ambassador for baseball and Chicago.

The Rev. Jesse Jackson says Banks was a racial bridge builder and treated people with dignity.

Banks was playing for the Kansas City Monarchs of the Negro Leagues when the Cubs discovered him in 1953. He made his major league debut at shortstop and days later hit his first home run.