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Louisville Slugger honors Ernie Banks with memorial wreath

Louisville Slugger laid a memorial wreath at the Walk of Fame bat honoring Ernie Banks’ prolific career Monday in Louisville.

Banks died Friday of a heart attack at age 83.

According to a release from the company, Banks signed a bat contract with Louisville Slugger during Spring Training in 1954, his first full season in Major League Baseball. The company had more than a 60-year relationship with him, and he visited the Louisville Slugger factory several times over the decades.

Banks used a Louisville Slugger S2 model bat for most of his Hall of Fame career, usually ordering bats that were 35 inches long and weighed 31 ounces. He liked wide grain and a natural finish, according to the company.

Banks’ Walk of Fame bat is located located on the southwest corner of Fifth and Main streets in downtown Louisville.