“Let’s Play Two: The Life and Times of Ernie Banks”
By Doug Wilson
This book covers a full gamut of the life of Ernie Banks. It is interesting to get a deeper understanding of his life in and around Dallas as a player and more importantly in a deeply racist city that reminds black people every day where their place is in society. It is noted that he lived in a poor area of town and the family was poorer than most in the area. His father was a hard worker and his mother was the rock.
The author uses a myriad of interviews with a multitude of friends that have known Banks from his early years. They tell us things that have happened throughout all stages of his life. They show us he was not just an athlete but was also a man with ambition but guarded at times due to his background.
His baseball career was storied from almost the beginning as the author details his enthusiasm for the game and for life. Many people around him can’t believe he can always have a good attitude about all things.
Banks was convinced to run as a city councilman and he was sure he would win from the start but didn’t realize how nasty politics in the City of Chicago was. He suffered through a couple of marriages but always was upbeat. Ernie had a love for Chicago and especially for Cubs owner Mr. Wrigley. At times, it appeared Banks acted as if he was in servitude to the owner and never, ever felt the need to critique him.
The only negative on this book is that many times the author would start a chapter, only to go into a tangent about how Banks was such a good person through interviewing people and then return to the season in hand. That happened several times.
This is a book that many people would enjoy reading and should be on your sports bookshelf.