Let's Play Two: The Life and Times of Ernie Banks
The first complete biography of one of baseball's most beloved players.
"Wilson brilliantly immerses his readers into the life and times of Banks and skillfully provides a balance of insightful detail about Banks' playing days and personal life. Wilson's Ernie Banks comes alive." Spitball Magazine
To be released February 15, 2019. available for preorder here
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Article in The Times of Northwest Indiana:New Biography of Chicago Cubs Legend
Follows his journey from the poverty of Jim Crow Dallas to becoming Mr. Cub, the most beloved athlete in Chicago
Ernie was an underappreciated pioneer:
First African American to play for the Chicago Cubs
First African American to set on the board of the Chicago Transit Authority
First African American-owned Ford new car dealer in the United States
He was the first African American to ever manage a major league team to victory in a game.
As a player, he revolutionized the position of shortstop while becoming the most prolific slugger in the game during the late 1950s. link to article
I started this project because I felt there had never been a serious book written about the entire life of Ernie Banks. I sought out people who grew up with him and those who played with him in Kansas City and Chicago and listened to their stories. I found that there was much more to Ernie Banks than just the Mr. Cub image and "Let's play two." Unfortunately, a tremendous amount of misinformation has been accepted as common knowledge regarding Ernie, his image and his career. I felt that it was important for all baseball fans to understand the importance of the man and his impact on the city of Chicago and baseball in general.
- How Ernie's childhood shaped the man everyone later came to love.
- When Ernie first said, "Let's play two." (It's not when you think it was)
- His relationship with manager Leo Durocher, how Ernie addressed it the rest of his life, and how the episode provides insight to Ernie's true character.
- How Ernie ended up on the Cubs and why other teams passed him by.
- How Ernie revolutionized the position of shortstop in the major leagues and exactly how good he was before knee problems slowed him down.
- Was Ernie's image real or was it a carefully constructed con job?
The answers will surprise even die-hard Cubs fans.