Ernie Banks' Funeral Expenses to Be Paid by Cubs

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistMarch 7, 2015

CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 30:  A soldier guards the remains of Ernie Banks during his visitation at the Fourth Presbyterian Church on January 30, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. Banks, who was known as Mr. Cub, played with the Chicago Cubs from 1953 through 1971, joining the team after a short stint with the Negro League. Banks, considered by many to be one of the sport's greatest players, was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1977. He died on January 23rd of a heart attack, eight days before his 84th birthday.  (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Scott Olson/Getty Images

The Chicago Cubs are going to pay for the funeral of legendary infielder Ernie Banks after the company that handled the services filed a claim that it hadn't been paid amid a legal battle over the Hall of Famer's estate.

A report from the Associated Press (via the Chicago Tribune) states the $35,000 cost will be covered by the Cubs after they found out about the situation through the media. Team spokesman Julian Green said it will be handled early next week.

"We learned of the story through the news media, saw that the funeral home had filed a claim," Green said. "We weren't aware that the bill had not been handled. After that, we immediately called the funeral home and told them we would take care of it on Monday."

Last month, Kim Janssen of the Chicago Sun-Times reported there was a court appearance became heated after it was revealed Banks' estate had just $16,000 in assets.

The ugly fight over the beloved Cubs icon's estate was triggered when, just three months before he died, the ailing Banks signed a will that left all of his assets to Rice—a will his family learned of only after he died.

Banks' widow, Elizabeth Banks, wants to know where the rest of his wealth went. The judge ordered Regina Rice, who worked as Mr. Cub's live-in caregiver, to provide more financial details within 30 days.

Video Play Button
Videos you might like

It's an unfortunate situation. Banks' attorney, Tom Jefson, said they aren't making any claims of fraud or otherwise accusing anybody of a crime. "We'd just like to know what happened," he's quoted as stating in the Chicago Sun-Times report.

The Cubs made the right move by stepping in to take at least one burden away from the family at what's clearly a very difficult time.