Statue at Dallas High School to Honor Alum ‘Mr. Cub'

Ernie Banks, the man many knew as "Mr. Cub," will forever be linked with the city of Chicago.

But the two-time Major League Baseball MVP got his start in Dallas.

Now one local artist with a connection to the former Chicago Cub is working to honor the hometown hero.

Emmanuel Gillespie is also a Booker T. Washington High School graduate, and after 20 years in the sculpting business, he has been commissioned to sculpt a life size statue of Banks.

"The honor to do something like that, and then as my own alumni school and then he's an alumni too... it makes me feel really good," said Gillespie.

A mock-up shows the painstaking work that lies ahead for Gillespie. He has to capture the radiant energy Banks showed on the diamond in a 6-foot tall static sculpture.

"When you read about Banks, it's all about the smile and I wanted to capture that chizzleness and great smile he had," said Gillespie.

He's also hoping the statue will be a symbol of perseverance. An homage to Banks' never ending enthusiasm for baseball that took him from his segregated Dallas neighborhood to the major leagues.

Gillespie has that same enthusiasm for art and he's using it to sharpen the minds of students with learning differences at the Winston School.

"What he does is it fosters their sense of confidence, their self-esteem." said Rebbie Evans who runs the Winston School.

Evans said Gillespie is molding these teens into capable adults.

"He shows them they are capable of accomplishing things that they didn't think they would ever be able to accomplish." said Evans.

It’s that message that he hopes the sculpture will send to all Booker T Students when his work is done.

“Here's something that you're going to create that people can look at and people will see over time and will pull from it too their perspective but perhaps even their pride," said Gillespie.

The statue is expected to be complete later this year. It will displayed on the Booker T. Washington campus.

Contact Us