Ernie Banks laid to rest

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Political leaders, Hall of Fame ballplayers and dozens of ordinary Chicagoans bade a poignant but uplifting farewell Saturday to Ernie Banks, the Chicago Cubs shortstop whose otherworldly athleticism, unflagging optimism and inexhaustible goodwill made him an ambassador for his team and his city.

Banks, who was 83 but would have turned 84 Saturday, died of a heart attack Jan. 23. His death has inspired a flood of reminiscence from those who watched him patrol the Wrigley Field diamond in the 1950s and '60s or simply knew him for his signature kindness.

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