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One of a select few baseball legends to hit more than 500 home runs, Ernie Banks Hall of Fame career contained memorable milestones including consecutive selections as the League s Most Valuable Player in 1958 and 1959. Respected by his baseball peers, beloved by Chicago fans and teammates, Banks did everything there was to do in the game he loved. Everything, that is, except play in a World Series.
In Ernie Banks: Mr. Cub and the Summer of 69, veteran sportswriter Phil Rogers creates an unprecedented view of Banks baseball career through the lens of the times in which the All-Star shortstop and first baseman played. From boyhood days picking cotton to being a multi-sport athlete as a teenager and then as a standout baseball player in the Negro Leagues following his high school graduation to his stint in the army, Banks honed his skills and joined the Chicago Cubs in 1953.
Banks crossed paths with a collection of interesting people including Buck O Neil, manager of the Kansas City Monarchs, Cubs owner Phil Wrigley, and the unpredictable Leo Durocher, who felt that Banks was washed up when he took over team management in 1966. All roads led to the summer of 1969, when the Cubs set Chicago on edge with a blazing run at the pennant only to run out of gas in September, undone by the Mets miracle.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times