Thursday, April 21, 2016
no. 525 - ernie banks
Who is the man: Ernie Banks was entering the final season of his Hall of Fame career when this card was issued. He'd play in just 39 games for the Cubs in 1971 and retire after the season.
Can ya dig it: I used to have a higher conditioned '71 Banks but traded it away to a Cubs fan. I found this one pretty quickly afterward at a card show, so it's all good.
Right on: This is the final Topps card of Banks issued during his career.
You see that cat Banks is a bad mother: Banks was known as the most powerful shortstop in baseball history during his career. He still holds the record for career home runs by a National League shortstop with 512 (although not all of them were hit while he was playing short).
Shut your mouth: Banks and Leo Durocher did not get along when Durocher was named manager of the Cubs in 1966. Durocher felt he was forced to play an aging Banks, while others said Durocher was simply jealous of Banks' popularity in Chicago. Banks once said, "Leo thought he should be Mr. Cub."
No one understands him but his woman: After his retirement, Banks worked at several places. He tried to get involved in banking and even started at the ground floor, working as a teller. But he said fellow employees treated him like a ballplayer and not a co-worker. He even addressed the problem with the bank's social psychologist.
(A word about the back): Banks is now 22nd on the all-time HR list and has been joined by Joe Morgan, Dale Murphy, Mike Schmidt, Barry Bonds and Albert Pujols as NL'ers to win back-to-back MVPs. But he still holds the season record for home runs by a shortstop!