So much has been written about Ernie Banks; two time MVP (1958, 59), 512 career HR’s, 1636 RBI’s, 11 time All-Star, 2583 career hits, HOF first time ballot inductee, uniform #14 retired by the Cubs, nineteen years with one team – Chicago Cubs I could not possible due justice. Ernie Banks is also known to have coined to rather famous sayings: “It’s a beautiful day for baseball . . .lets play two” and “The Friendly Confines of Wrigley Field”.
So on his birthday I present his 1960 card which highlights his stats from his MVP year of 1959; 45 HR’s, 143 RBI’s and .304 batting average. Oh what a year he had in 1959 as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of his MVP year.
And on a personal note, as a teenager I worked at the Glencoe Golf Course in Glencoe Illinois (a northern suburb of Chicago). My “job” was to remove players golf clubs from their cart, after they played, wash their clubs and return their clubs to their car or the racks in our club storage shed (usually receiving a tip of $ .25 for “doing a good job”). Ernie Banks played at this course many times and I recall a warm April day in 1975 that “Mr. Cub” actually followed me into the club storage shed and he signed the small wooden desk my brothers and I shared (he also was a generous tipper). This desk had much of our teenage graffiti etched in it along with some signatures of the celebrities of the day. This desk is long gone from the shed, no teenagers are washing golf clubs anymore and celebrity encounters are less random. Those were the days . . .
One numerical coincidence to leave you with: Ernie Banks hit his last homerun (#512) on May 12th, 1970 (512 on 5-12).
Happy Birthday “Mr. Cub” !