Ernie Banks is one of those players that I always admired growing up (even though I wasn't born until more than a decade after his final game). A recent post by Hackenbush over at Can't Have Too Many Cards
reminded me that I actually have quite a decent little Ernie Banks collection. I've shown one or two cards from time to time over the years, but many of them have never seen the light of day on my blog, which is a shame. To make up for that, here's an image heavy post featuring the bulk of my Ernie Banks collection. It's not very large in size (less than 30 cards) but I'm shooting for quality over quantity with this particular player collection.
Sure, I've got a handful of newer cards like this one from 2005 Upper Deck Past Time Pennants, but the bulk of my collection focuses on vintage (shocking). I'm not sure why Ernie is in a set called Past Time Pennants when he never won a pennant. Anyway, my collection focuses on the cards that were released during Ernie's playing days:
I don't have Ernie's final card from the '71 Topps set, and it's a pretty pricey card given the condition issues with '71 Topps and the fact that it's a high number. I do have this beauty from 1970 Topps though. Nice sunny day, smiling Banks and a classic bat barrel shot. After a decade of more tightly cropped portrait shots in the '60s it's nice to see a little more of Ernie here. Speaking of which...
I really do like 1969 Topps quite a bit, and this one would be near the top of my list of favorite Banks cards were it not for the fact that Topps used the very same photo as the year prior:
1968 Topps is one of my least favorite sets, but given that this card set me back around the cost of a blaster it was still a no-brainer to pick it up.
1967 Topps is much better. Not the most exciting photo but I love the design. If I were going to pick a set from the '60s to complete I'd think long and hard about this one.
Can't really say the same for 1966 Topps, my second-least-favorite set of the decade (behind '61 Topps). At least Ernie's got a hat on, which is more than you can say for most subjects in this set.
Here's Ernie on your 2014 Heritage design. I never understood the photo choice on this one. Is this really the best they could come up with?
I'm a big fan of 1964 Topps and have picked up quite a few Hall of Famers from the set. The cards are just beautiful, this is everything a vintage baseball card should be.
Ernie's '64 Topps Stand-Up was one of my best bargains of last year. When I saw this example in really great condition listed by one of my favorite eBay sellers for $20 Buy-it-Now I pounced on it immediately. I don't imagine it would have lasted very long.
If you're paying attention you've noticed that I'm missing the '63 Topps card. This is the second major hole in my run following '71 Topps. As far as this card goes, I normally detest '62 Topps but not in this case.
Snooze...here's some evidence as to why 1961 Topps is the worst set of the decade. Topps even managed to make a bad Ernie banks card in '61. This is truly a card for the player, set or team collector only.
Ah, so much better! Color! Different photos! Huge logo! Hats! Is 1960 to 1961 the worst drop-off in Topps' flagship effort from year to year? I think it might be.
This looks like a shot of Ernie playing toss pre-game. I have this cool Cubs' Clubbers combo card from the '59 set as well:
Nice little addition to accompany the '59 base card. From this point down my run of Banks cards is incomplete to say the least. I don't have his '58 Topps card, but I do have the All-Star subset (the very first All-Star subset) card:
I'm missing Banks' '57 Topps issue as well, probably the cheapest of the few cards I'd like to track down still. I don't have his rookie card either (cha-ching!), or his '55 Bowman. Maybe someday. This is my absolute favorite though:
I picked this card up not long after I first returned to collecting back in 2007. There was a time, for probably a year or more, where it was my absolute favorite card, period. It's since been surpassed in that category more than a few times over, but it's still a great piece of cardboard that I'd rank among my top 100 baseball cards.
Finally, my oldest Banks, his second year 1955 Topps card. Who knows if I'll ever try to complete the run. I was pursuing this project with vigor years ago, but it's really slowed to halt in recent years. Regardless of what happens I'm proud of the small collection of Mr. Cub's cards that I've been able to put together to date...