Ernie Banks


Sultan of Swat
Staff member
Alright guys lets talk about arugably the greatest Cubs player of all time, Mr Cub himself Ernie Banks. He's one of the best short stops of all time in my opinion, his .274 career batting average is not outstanding but his 512 career home runs and almost 1700 career rbi's are great. He's a two time MVP, he won the gold glove once, and won two batting titles. He also was a member of the National League all star team eleven times.

Dicuss, about the man they call Mr Cub
"Let's play two!". Greatest catch phrase a ballplayer ever had. Amazing that a man who was smaller than Ted Williams could hit 500+ homers.


A lot of people rate Banks as the #2 SS of all time, or even as the #1. That's simply not defensible.

However, he was a very great player. He was not a wonder defensively, but neither was he terrible. He had a very poor ratio of BB/K's for a guy in the 500 HR Club, but he wasn't Dave Kingman by any means and everyone seems to have loved him. He scored tons of runs, knocked in tons of runs, and if the second half of his career had been as good as the first half--it wan't even close--he might have seriously challenged Honus Wagner for the distinction of being baseball's greatest SS.

But even as it is, you can rate him as high as 4th, I think, and no lower than 8th (behind Wagner, Vaughan, Ripken, Yount, A-Rod, Ozzie and Larkin). That's tremendous company, and he did it on his own, except in terms of his bloated % of HR's hit at home. Even there, he was a far cry from Mel Ott.

Banks is a guy whom some overrate so strikingly that it causes others to underrate him just as strikingly. In 2001, Bill James put him at #5 for career shortstops. It's safe to bet A-Rod, who still has vastly more games at SS than at 3B, has moved ahead of Banks on James' list by now. If it were left up to me (haha), Ozzie would do likewise. But realistically, we're only talking about the gulf between being #4 all time at the game's second most important defensive position, and being #8 all time at that position.

The difference can't be too large.

CONCLUSION: Ernie Banks was a tremendous player. He not only belongs in the Hall, he's one of its better players.