Court dispute breaks out over remains of Ernie Banks

A petition has been filed in court over the remains of former Chicago Cubs great Ernie Banks, who died last month at the age of 83, according to the Associated Press.

According to the AP, Banks' estranged wife, Elizabeth Banks, filed the petition in order to prevent Banks' longtime friend and caretaker, Regina Rice, from cremating his remains. Banks once told a newspaper reporter that after he died he wanted his ashes spread out on Wrigley Field, however the AP reports there is no mention of this in the petition.

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Rice is also the executor of Banks' estate. From the AP:

Included in the file are documents in which Rice claims Banks was attempting to end his marriage to Elizabeth Banks, his fourth wife. The documents include a petition for divorce, signed by Banks, in which the Hall of Famer seeks to end his marriage because "irreconcilable differences have caused irretrievable breakdown of the marriage" and that Elizabeth Banks had "committed extreme and repeated acts of mental cruelty upon petitioner (Banks)."

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The attorney representing Elizabeth Banks told the AP that Banks is buried at Graceland Cemetery, which is near Wrigley Field, however an employee at the cemetery told the AP the former player is not buried there. 

Banks, nicknamed "Mr. Cub," spent his entire 19-year career with the Cubs and was the first African-American player in franchise history. He was named to 14 All-Star Games and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1977.

- Molly Geary

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