January 24, 2015

Farewell Mr. Cub

Last night the world lost another baseball legend. Ernie Banks, Mr. Cub, passed at the age of 83 - just about a week shy of his 84th birthday. I am not old enough to have seen him play, except in documentary footage. However, as I've stated in the short history of this blog, I am a lover of baseball history and Ernie Banks is a great part of baseball history. He hit over 500 HR, was an 11 time All-Star, and a two time League MVP, but he was much more than those career numbers. He became the first African-American to play for the Cubs at age 22 after starting his career with the Kansas City Monarchs at 19. He is a veteran of the United States Army and a true class act.

In all fairness, I don't own too many cards of him, but in tribute, I'll share a couple of my favorite Ernie Banks cards.

What would a tribute to a baseball legend be without a little oddball? This toothy grin hails from the 1985 Woolworth's All Time Record Holders box set. This card highlights his league record 5 grand slams in 1955 and his mark for most HR by a shortstop which he set in 1958 with 47.

I love pictures that display he cub's head on the jersey sleeve. That's why I selected the photo at the top of this post and one of the reasons I wanted to highlight this card from 2012 Heritage. It's a classic pose for one and it's a nod to his 'Let's play two' philosophy and catchphrase.

Finally, I'll showcase this dual relic. It's the only game-used or auto card I have of the Hall of Famer. Perhaps it's a bit tarnished by the pairing with Sammy Sosa, but I'll always remember the thrill I had when I pulled this from a pack back in 2001. I couldn't believe I was actually holding a dual relic of one of the biggest names at the time, and one of the best players in MLB history. I still smile when I look at this card.

Rest in peace Mr. Cub. You will be missed dearly and remembered fondly.

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