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Posts Tagged ‘Ernie Banks’

January 31 is a red letter day in baseball history. Not only is it the birthdate of three Hall Famers, but the three figures (Ernie Banks, Jackie Robinson and Nolan Ryan) are among the most legendary in the game.

Cooperstown Trifectas: Birthdates Shared by Three Hall of Famers

January 31 Nolan Ryan Jackie Robinson Ernie Banks
April 2 Luke Appling Hughie Jennings Don Sutton
April 6 Bert Blyleven Mickey Cochrane Ernie Lombardi
May 14 Tony Perez Ed Walsh Earle Combs
August 22 Paul Molitor Ned Hanlon Carl Yastrzemski
September 9 Waite Hoyt Frankie Frisch Frank Chance
October 3 Fred Clarke Dennis Eckersley Dave Winfield
December 25 Rickey Henderson Pud Galvin Nellie Fox

Source: Baseball-reference.com

Robinson would have been 92, and Ryan turns 64, but the focus of this post is Banks, who reaches the milestone of 80 years on his birthday today.  

Despite all of his exploits on the field, Banks is perhaps best known for a famous catch phrase. Always an eternal optimist with an unbridled passion for playing the game, Banks would often try to lift the spirits of his teammates with three famous words of encouragement: “Let’s play two”.

We got the setting – sunshine, fresh air, the team behind us. So let’s play two”Ernie Banks, excerpted from his Hall of Fame induction speech, August 8, 1977

As it turns out, Banks was sort of an expert on the subject, having played in 665 doubleheader games. In fact, over 25% of his career at bats were taken during a doubleheader, and almost incomprehensible figure by today’s standards. Unfortunately, although Banks may have enjoyed playing in doubleheaders, his performance in them didn’t deviate much from the norm. Apparently, not even Mr. Cub’s enthusiasm could overcome a reversion to the mean.

Ernie Banks Performance in Doubleheaders

Year G AB HR RBI R BA OBP SLG OPS
1953 2 7 0 0 0 0.143 0.250 0.143 0.393
1954 60 229 7 34 29 0.306 0.343 0.467 0.810
1955 44 170 15 32 31 0.324 0.364 0.659 1.023
1956 57 213 11 24 36 0.291 0.366 0.535 0.901
1957 60 217 18 36 43 0.272 0.360 0.562 0.922
1958 40 157 7 24 28 0.287 0.349 0.497 0.845
1959 28 111 5 17 9 0.189 0.268 0.351 0.620
1960 38 142 7 23 19 0.254 0.341 0.479 0.820
1961 36 136 6 16 21 0.287 0.358 0.478 0.836
1962 36 138 10 26 22 0.304 0.342 0.609 0.951
1963 31 98 4 17 10 0.235 0.284 0.398 0.682
1964 37 135 7 22 15 0.311 0.354 0.556 0.910
1965 41 143 9 27 24 0.252 0.337 0.503 0.841
1966 35 126 1 14 7 0.198 0.226 0.270 0.495
1967 40 146 10 30 24 0.288 0.327 0.548 0.875
1968 33 119 8 30 18 0.311 0.357 0.571 0.928
1969 29 101 3 22 8 0.307 0.377 0.436 0.813
1970 12 32 2 5 3 0.281 0.303 0.500 0.803
1971 6 14 1 4 1 0.214 0.214 0.429 0.643
Total 665 2434 131 403 348 0.279 0.337 0.503 0.840
Career 2528 9421 512 1636 1305 0.274 0.330 0.500 0.830

Source: Baseball-reference.com

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