Thursday, September 19, 2013

Banks Hits Fifth Grandslam Of Season

On Sept. 19, 1955, Chicago Cubs slugger Ernie Banks hits his fifth grand slam of season, setting a new Major League record.

Banks would finish the season with five grand slams, which was a record until 1987 when New York Yankees first baseman Don Mattingly hit six grand slams. In 2006 Cleveland Indians designated hitter Travis Hafner would also hit six.

Banks five grand slams are still a National League record though, only being matched in 2009 by former St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols.

Banks would finish his career with 12 grand slams, which is good enough to be tied for twenty-seventh all-time, however, at the time of his retirement Banks was ranked no. 10 all-time in most career grand slams.

At the end of his 19-year career, Banks compiled a .274 batting average in 2,528 games with 9,421 at-bats. He totaled 2,583 hits with 407 doubles, 90 triples, 512 home runs. He would also total 1,636 RBIs, 1,305 runs, 763 walks and 50 stolen bases while striking out 1,236 times.

Six times Banks led the league in games played, with his highest single season total coming in 1960 with 156 games played which led the league. The 156-games was the amount all teams would play in a season without going to a tiebreaker. He led the league in home runs twice, with his highest single season total coming 1958 with 47 home runs. He led the league that year. He also led the league in RBIs twice, with his highest single season total coming in 1959 with 143, which led the league. He also led the league in at-bats in 1958 with 617, which also was his highest single season total.

Banks enjoyed a great career with the Chicago Cubs, filled with awards as he was a 14-time All-Star, including 11 consecutive appearances, with two All-Star appearances coming in 1959, 1960 and 1962, when the league had two All-Star Games a year.

Banks might have had one of the best two-year runs in baseball when he was awarded back-to-back National League MVP Awards in 1958 and 1959. Those same two years he was the National League Home Run Champion and RBI Champion.

Banks was in the MVP voting nine more times, including his rookie year when he was second in Rookie of the Year voting, and sixteenth in MVP voting.

In 1960 Banks won the Gold Glove award and in 1967 he won the Lou Gherig Memorial Award.

In 1977 Banks elected into the Cooperstown Baseball Hall of Fame with 83.8 percent of the vote on the first ballot in which he appeared.

The Chicago Cubs retired Banks iconic no. 14 jersey in 1982.