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Ernie Banks: Mr. Cub and the Summer of '69 Hardcover – April 1, 2011


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Triumph Books; 1St Edition edition (April 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1600785190
  • ISBN-13: 978-1600785191
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.3 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #336,487 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Phil Rogers is the national baseball columnist for the Chicago Tribune. As a beat reporter he has covered the Chicago White Sox and Texas Rangers. His work has appeared on ESPN.com and in Baseball America, Inside Sports, and Sports Illustrated. He is the author of three books, including Say It's So, a look at the 2005 champion White Sox. He lives in Naperville, Illinois.

Customer Reviews

I was initially engaged in the book, but it started to get a little bit repetive.
Geoff E
No one is ever going to mistake Mr. Cub for Bertrand Russell, and this book kind of reflects Ernie's personality.
Jim Arneberg
It tells the story of the life and baseball career of Ernie Banks intertwined with the events of the 1969 season.
J. Groen

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Thompson Brandt on June 22, 2011
Format: Hardcover
For Father's Day, I received Phil Roger's account of Ernie Banks and the summer of 1969. I couldn't wait to dig-in to what appeared to be a "must read!" Reading about my boyhood hero has been a passion for nearly a half century.

Unfortunately, this recently released volume was a frustrating adventure. Ironically, details of Leo Durocher's managerial practices and indiscretions were of some interest. But I don't believe they were the point of the book. What's more, the writing isn't particularly engaging or original. Countless examples of repeated facts (eg. Ernie was reported to have had 20/13 vision in his prime) were woven into a text that wasn't presented chronologically or clearly. The divisions of chapters by months of the year seemed unattached to the material and often without relevance to the topic contained within each section. In the end, the author presents an account of Ernie Banks that sheds little new light on the subject. Digressions having to do with countless other contemporaries of Ernie's seemed simply added to fill more pages.

Mr. Rogers, I applaud you for contributing to the literature about #14, in this the anniversary year of his eightieth birthday. In the future, though, I'd encourage you to do what you can to present enlightening and coherent material. Mr. Cub deserves better than this effort that appears to have not been subjected to much editorial review, if any.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Geoff E on December 2, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Even as a non-Cubs fan living in Cubs country, I do like to educate myself on the franchise. Ernie Banks is the face of the Cubs and forever will be, unless someone comes along and leads them to a World Series or two.

I was initially engaged in the book, but it started to get a little bit repetive. The book is split up with chapters on different months of the 69' season, with little cohesion between the middle chapters. By "middle chapters", I mean the chapters between, for example, May and June.

Banks was presented as a all around good guy who had a lot of interests outside of baseball. This is well known to most Cubs fans or fans of baseball history. The most intriguging character in the book was probably manager Leo Derocher.

The Mets, who were of course the "Miracle Mets" of 69' were mentioned quite a bit, but not in any real depth. With the exception of Leo Derocher's antics off the field, the Summer of 69' is covered almost primarly on the field. This can be good and bad. I would have liked a little more insight into what was going on the Cubs and primarly Bank's head during the 69' season. Some of that was presented, but not as much as I was hoping for.

Overall, it was an interesting read. I am sure a Cubs fan would probably enjoy it a little more than me. I would suggest it as reading, but it is not a must-read for non-fans of the Cubs. I've read better baseball books, but I have read worse.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J. Groen VINE VOICE on November 1, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
To me, this book was a pleasant surprise, having read some of the reviews and not expecting a very good book. But, this book was good for me, probably because I didn't know a lot about Ernie Banks.

It tells the story of the life and baseball career of Ernie Banks intertwined with the events of the 1969 season. Now, I agree that there are better books on the 1969 season, but this one tells it from Ernie's perspective.

Ernie was always very positive about baseball and life in general, and this comes through in the book. And, some of the events of his career are also highlighted including winning the MVP for two years straight, very rare and the events of his career in 1969 are also highlighted, including his timely hits and homeruns.

It is only sad that the 1969 season ended the way that it did for the Cubs. But, Ernie took it in stride. What a great baseball player and a great human being. And, this book does a great job of writing about him.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jim Arneberg on August 2, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This isn't a five-star book, more like three-and-a-half, but I'm giving it five stars to counter the one star that the other guy gave. It's not "Ball Four" or any of Roger Angell's anthologies; but it's interesting and occasionally inciteful. It's sort of the antithesis of the obtuse stat-freak books out there (books I also enjoy). I think the talk radio types out there are looking for more gossipy, under-the-carpet dirt. Phil Rogers suggests at it without getting all tabloid on us. It's a light read, giving social context to Ernie's career and telling two stories without banging you over the head with analyses. No one is ever going to mistake Mr. Cub for Bertrand Russell, and this book kind of reflects Ernie's personality. It's like watching a game with a beer in the bleachers without worrying about flyball-to-groundball ratios. I looked forward to reading a couple or three chapters each night. I enjoyed it.
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Format: Hardcover
This was a good subject, but I was disappointed when I read it. There is very little depth and nothing new. The section on Ernie's childhood was merely paraphrased from his 1971 autobiography--no interviews, no new stuff. Same thing with the part about his Kansas City Monarch days: we learn that Negro League teams traveled on buses alot and faced racism, especially in the South. Really? I didn't know that.
The book jumps around so much that it is hard to follow. We start out in the Intro with Ernie coming up to bat in a crucial, 1969 late-season game. Okay, so far, so good. But instead of flashing back and chronologically telling the story, we go to a 4-page discussion of his personality, then we're at an appearance at a 2010 Cubs game, then we bounce to a 1967 game in which the Cubs take over first, THEN we go to his childhood, then we inexplicably bounce to a section discussing Phil Wrigley. It was hard to stay focused--an outline would have helped.
That being said, there are some good parts. Mr. Rogers is a professional writer and knows how to put together thoughts. The big problem I have with all the Triumph books I have seen is that they appear to be thrown together and have absolutely no editing. Also, as far as I can tell, there were only about 6 or 7 interviews and the ones with Nolan Ryan, Phil Niekro and Lou Brock didn't seem to reveal any useful stuff--one wonders how much time these interviews actually took. The author was able to get some good stuff from Monte Irvin, which I think is a highlight of the book, and some good comments from Ken Burns, but then he lets Burns rant too long on his opinion of racism in the United States (I didn't read the book to find out Burns' opinion of other people's opinion of the current president). Again, where are the editors?
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Ernie Banks: Mr. Cub and the Summer of '69
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