Wait til Next Year . . . is making a come back.

I am going to mix a bit of the philosophy of my life into this blog as I continue to highlight some of my baseball card collection. (hoping the card collectors of this world welcome me back)

Its been a tough 18 months for me . . . the Chicago Cubs have had it rough as well.

This site will be devoted to all those who need to define what "wait til next year" means.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

"It's a beautiful day for a ball game . . .

. . . lets play two". That is only one of so many "happy" quotes from Mr. Cub, Ernie Banks.

Today is April 1st (no pranks planned) and marks the 101st day of my blog. I do know 101 days is nothing to "shout about" in the world of the blogsophere but 101 is an important number (this year) for Cub-dome.

So I thought I would revert back to the reasons why I started this blog and do a post on a Chicago Cub of my youth, the one and only Ernie Banks.
This 1964 card, # 55 has several things I like about it. First, the 1964 set is appealing to me; the traditional white border and large team name offset by the usual portrait (or posed) photo of the day. This thoughtful head shot of Banks makes me think "what is he thinking about" ? Could it be that he is staring out to the horizon as he just completed his tenth year in the majors and saying to himself "awards mean a lot, but they don't say it all. The people in baseball mean more to me than statistics" (yes another quote from Banks himself).

The back of this card is that unusual orange (this scan does not do it justice, sorry) with a clever rub off question / answer panel. This card asks "Who was the last AL man to pinch hit 2 consecutive HR's ?" A rather odd question for the two-time NL MVP (1958, 59) and "super star" but . . . the answer is Johnny Blanchard of the Yankees in 1961 (as an aside, Blanchard recently passed away on March 25th, 2009 at the age of 76).
I also like the back of this 1964 card of Banks for this reason; he just completed his tenth full year in the majors and the stats are easy to calculate his career year-to-year averages (just divide by ten or drop the last number, you can do the math): 1500 games, 1617 hits, 250 doubles, 353 HR' and 1026 RBI's. Not too bad for the first ten years of his career.

While Banks would keep this pace up until age and injuries hit him during the 1970 and 1971 campaigns, his career numbers are pretty impressive; 2528 games, 2583 hits, 407 doubles, 512 HR's and 1636 RBI's.

Banks ranks fourth all-time for most homeruns hit for one team and playing for one team only. Only Mike Schmidt (548), Mickey Mantle (536) and Ted Williams (521) who spent their entire careers with only one team and hit more homeruns.

It is only natural to end this post with another quote from Banks himself: "Work ? I never worked a day in my life. I always loved what I was doing, had a passion for it."

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