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15 Fun Facts About Mr. Cub, Ernie Banks

Filed under: Baseball Fun Facts — by Mark on January 26, 2015

Ernie Banks debuted for the Cubs in 1953 at the end of the season and went on to play for 19 years, not only in Major League Baseball, but all of them with Chicago. He played shortstop which is a demanding position but he also excelled with the bat in his hand. He went on earn a place not only in the Hall of Fame, but also in the hearts of Cubs fans everywhere.

Here are 15 fun facts about the great Ernie Banks!

No Early Experience

Ernie Banks went to Booker T. Washington High School in Dallas, Texas. At the time he was there, the school had no baseball team. He did play basketball, football, and was on the track team during those years.

0 For 3

In his first Major League Baseball game ever, a Cubs loss to the Phillies, Ernie Banks went 0 for 3 with a walk, while batting seventh in the lineup.

Nice Name

Ernie Banks got his first hit in his second Major League Baseball game. It came off of pitcher Vinegar Bend Mizell of the St. Louis Cardinals.

Thanks, Gerry!

Ernie Banks hit his first home run on September 20, 1953. It came in the eight inning and was hit off of Gerry Staley of the Cardinals. Six days later, Banks would hit his second career home run, again off of Staley of the Cardinals.

The First Ever!

As a rookie in 1954, shortstop Ernie Banks and second baseman Gene Baker were Major Leage Baseball’s first all-black double-play combination.

Just Missed It, Youngster

Ernie Banks finished in second place in the voting for the National League Rookie of the Year Award in 1954. He lost out to Wally Moon of the Cardinals. Finishing behind him in fourth place was the great Hank Aaron.

That Hurts, Moe!

In a game early in the season in 1962, former Cubs pitcher Moe Drabowsky hit Ernie Banks in the head with a fastball. He left the field unconscious and was hospitalized for two nights, only missing one game.

A Ford Man

In 1967, Ernie Banks and his business partner Bob Nelson, became the first black owners of a Ford automobile dealership in the United States.

1 for 3

In his last game in baseball, a Cubs loss to the Phillies in 1971, Ernie Banks went 1 for 3 with a walk, batting cleanup.

Six Times!

Ernie Banks led the national league in games played six times over his first seven years in the league.

Thanks Robin!

Ernie Banks hit more home runs off of Hall of Fame pitcher Robin Roberts of the Phillies, a total of 15, than he did off of any other player in baseball.

But No Thanks, To You Sandy!

The pitcher who struck Ernie Banks out more than anyone else was Sandy Koufax who sent him down on strikes 31 times.

Love Them Phillies!

Ernie Banks not only had more hits off of the Phillies than any other team in baseball during his career, but more home runs too.

Special Home Runs

Ernie Banks hit 512 home runs during his career. 12 of those were Grand Slams and four of them were Inside-the-Park home runs.

Bye Bye #14

Ernie Banks #14 jersey was retired by the Chicago Cubs in 1982. His was the first jersey number to be retired by the organization.

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