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Ernie Banks

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Information about Ernie Banks

Profile image of Ernie Banks

Profession

Category:
SportsMakers
Occupation(s):
Baseball Player

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Pink
Favorite Food:
Okra
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Switzerland
Favorite Quote:
One chance is all you need.

Birthplace

Born:
1/31/1931
Birth Location:
Dallas, Texas

Profession

Category:
SportsMakers
Occupation(s):
Baseball Player

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Pink
Favorite Food:
Okra
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Switzerland
Favorite Quote:
One chance is all you need.

Birthplace

Born:
1/31/1931
Birth Location:
Dallas
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Biography

Baseball player Ernie Banks was born in Dallas, Texas, on January 31, 1931. As legend has it, his father had to bribe young Ernie with nickels and dimes in order to get his son to play catch.

An all-around athlete, Banks was a high school star in football, basketball and track. At age seventeen, he signed to play baseball with a Negro barnstorming team. Manager Cool Papa Bell recognized Banks’ talent and signed him to a contract with the Kansas City Monarchs of the Negro Baseball League.

In 1953, Banks was recruited directly from the Negro League into the majors with the Chicago Cubs. He hit his first home run on September 20, 1953, beginning a long career as one of the Cubs’ most beloved players. From 1955 to 1960, Ernie Banks hit more homers than anyone in the majors, including Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays and Hank Aaron, and he finished his career with five seasons of forty or more home runs. In 1959 he became the first player in National League history to win consecutive Most Valuable Player trophies, a year removed from setting an NL record for homers by a shortstop with forty-seven.

After retiring from the major leagues as a career Cub in 1971, Banks became the first Cub to have his uniform number retired. In 1977, Banks was elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. Cubs fans will always remember him as the ballplayer who said, "What a great day for baseball! Let's play two!" On March 31, 2008, Banks was honored with a permanent statue of his likeness at Wrigley Field.

Banks passed away on January 23, 2015 at age 83.

See how Ernie Banks is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Photo - Ernie Banks with former roommate Lou Brock and Buck O'Neil, manager of the Kansas City Monarchs.
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Photo - Ernie Banks's family
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Photo - Ernie Banks with his father on a radio program
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Photo - Ernie Banks with Willie Mays in San Francisco
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Photo - Ernie Banks sliding into third base with Jackie Robinson (back turned) in Brooklyn, New York
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Photo - Ernie Banks with Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee and two producers in a movie called 'Finding Buck McHenry' in Toronto, Canada
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Photo - Ernie Banks with father at Wrigley Field
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Photo - Ernie invited to golf tournament for a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society with picturess of Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Ernie Banks's favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Ernie Banks talks about growing up with his father
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Ernie Banks describes his father's family background
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Ernie Banks talks about his parents' marriage
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Ernie Banks describes his mother's personality
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Ernie Banks shares some stories about growing up in Dallas
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Ernie Banks talks about his busy childhood household
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Ernie Banks explains why he likes his name
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Ernie Banks talks about his work ethic
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Ernie Banks shares a story about being jilted at his prom
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Ernie Banks describes his personality as a young person
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Ernie Banks describes his parents' occupations
  • Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Ernie Banks talks about growing up in a segregated Dallas, Texas
  • Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Ernie Banks talks about his school days
  • Tape: 2 Story: 13 - Ernie Banks talks about his average athletic talent in high school
  • Tape: 2 Story: 14 - Ernie Banks talks about enjoying softball more than baseball as a young person
  • Tape: 2 Story: 15 - Ernie Banks describes how his father encouraged him to play baseball
  • Tape: 2 Story: 16 - Ernie Banks briefly describes his military experience and the start of his baseball career
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Ernie Banks describes playing baseball in the Negro Baseball League
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Ernie Banks talks about adjusting from the Negro Leagues to the Major Leagues
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Ernie Banks discusses learning by experience in the Major Leagues
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Ernie Banks talks about St. Louis as a special place in his baseball career
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Ernie Banks talks about his mindset while playing baseball
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Ernie Banks explains why he deflected discussion away from his baseball accomplishments
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Ernie Banks explains the origin of his nickname, "Mr. Cub"
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Ernie Banks describes his relationship with Chicago Cubs owner Philip K. Wrigley
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Ernie Banks briefly describes his dismissal from the Chicago Cubs
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Ernie Banks discusses his feelings about his Hall of Fame status
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Ernie Banks talks about running for alderman in the City of Chicago
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Ernie Banks talks about being an example for social change
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Ernie Banks explains his positive attitude
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Ernie Banks talks about public perception of his positive attitude
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Ernie Banks talks about being perceived as an "Uncle Tom"
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Ernie Banks explains that his business connections are not personal connections
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Ernie Banks explains feeling content in the latter stages of his life
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Ernie Banks discusses his future plans for philanthropy
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Ernie Banks briefly discusses baseball as a business
  • Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Ernie Banks talks about the difficulties faced by some of his favorite athletes
  • Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Ernie Banks discusses negative societal influences on children
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Ernie Banks discusses how the strenuous pace of society produces a negative effect
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Ernie Banks briefly talks about being a positive influence on professional athletes
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Ernie Banks discusses his views on significant members of the black community
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Ernie Banks talks about his perception of the black community
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Ernie Banks offers advice for young black Americans
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Ernie Banks explains why he doesn't want to be remembered
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Ernie Banks discusses the importance of history
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Ernie Banks talks about his contentment
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Ernie Banks talks about the positive and negative effects of sports on the public
  • Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Photo - Twin boys Joey and Jerry Banks and daughter Jan Banks
  • Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Photo - Ernie Banks receiving an award with soccer legend Pele
  • Tape: 5 Story: 12 - Photo - Ernie Banks with his twin boys at the ballpark