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Banks returned to the Monarchs in after two years in the army and hit. It won him a Major League contract with the Chicago Cubs. Banks hit. He married Mollye Louise Ector that same year. The nineteen home runs he hit in , his first full season in Major League Baseball, remained the rookie record for National League shortstops for fifty-three years. The consecutive games he played at the start of his career stayed a league record until Banks smashed 44 home runs in , had runs batted in, and led the league in fielding.

These were levels no other National League shortstop had ever reached. He pounded 47 homers and RBIs in and 45 home runs and RBIs in , becoming the first player in league history to win the most valuable player award in back-to-back seasons. In , he also divorced his first wife and married public relations specialist Eloyce Johnson. The couple had twin sons Joey and Jerry, born in , and a daughter, Jan, born in The Cubs had losing seasons in thirteen of the first fourteen seasons Banks was on the ballclub.

During his nineteen years as a Cub, Banks established himself as the greatest player in team history. Each spring, however, he led Cub fans to renewed hope.

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And for days, the Cubs under veteran manager Leo Durocher were in first place, paced by young stars Ron Santo, Billy Williams, and Fergie Jenkins, and Banks, now their veteran first baseman. At thirty-eight, he hit 23 home runs and had RBIs, while again leading the league in fielding. On 12 May , Banks became the ninth player in major league history to hit home runs. He retired after an injury-shortened season, finishing with home runs and 1, runs batted in.

He played in 2, career games but not one in the post-season. That too was a record. It was his greatest disappointment as a big league ballplayer. He believed baseball helped break racial barriers.


Ernie Banks : Mr. Cub and the Summer Of '69 by Phil Rogers (, Hardcover) for sale online | eBay

Banks coached the Cubs for two years and did promotional work for the team that kept him the face of the franchise. He became a successful Chicago-area businessman, heavily involved in charity work. The following year he married Marjorie Marie Wardlaw, having divorced his wife Eloyce two years earlier. Wardlaw worked with Major League Baseball to improve race relations.

They divorced in , the same year the sixty-six-year-old Banks married thirty-one-year-old Elizabeth Ellzey. The couple adopted a newborn girl, Alyna Olivia, in Thank you for helping us improve PBS Video. WTTW video streaming support provided by members and sponsors. May 9, - Viewer Mail.

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