Saturday, May 23, 2020

#348 George Banks - Cleveland Indians

George Edward Banks
Cleveland Indians
Outfield-Third Base

Bats:  Right  Throws:  Right  Height:  5'11"  Weight:  185
Born:  September 2, 1938, Pacolet Mills, SC
Signed:  Signed by the New York Yankees as an amateur free agent before 1957 season
Major League Teams:  Minnesota Twins 1962-1964; Cleveland Indians 1964-1966
Died:  March 1, 1985, Spartanburg, SC (age 46)

In 11 seasons in the minor leagues, George Banks hit 223 home runs, topping the 25 home run mark in 1960, 1961, 1963, 1964, and 1965.  Originally signed by the Yankees, he was left unprotected in the 1961 rule 5 draft and following his selection by the Twins stayed on the Twins' major league roster for the entire season.  That 1962 season was his only full season in the big leagues.  Traded to the Indians in June 1964, Banks appeared in only 17 games with the club over three different seasons.  He retired with a lifetime .219 average in the majors with 9 home runs and 27 RBIs.

In 1985, Banks died at the age of 46 from ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease).

Building the Set
February 29, 2020 from King of Prussia, PA - Card #66
Doug and I attended the Philadelphia Sportscard & Memorabilia Show held on the bottom floor of the Valley Forge Casino on the final day of February.  This was our first baseball card show of 2020 and the fourth show we've attended in Valley Forge since March 2019.  I did a post over at The Phillies Room with a few pictures of Doug taken with some of the show's autograph guests.  We ended up adding 23 cards to our set.

This Banks card was from an initial batch of 17 commons and semi-stars purchased from John's Sports Cards within the first hour of our arrival.  I didn't track each individual price of the cards purchased, but this card was from a half-price binder and the 17-card lot cost me $50 total.  John's table has been located in the back right of the showroom floor for as long as we've been going to these shows, and I know I've bought a bunch of vintage Topps cards from him in the past including cards needed for my 1971 Topps set.  He's one of those dealers who you can't help but remember, probably because he genuinely seems happy and to be enjoying what he's doing.  Doug and I would come back to him later in the show for a few major purchases for our set, and I'll eventually feature all cards added in upcoming posts.

The Card
This is one of four Topps cards for Banks, and it's highly probable he's actually wearing a Twins uniform in this photo.  His 30 home runs bested teammate Rich Barry for the Eastern League lead in 1961 while both were members of the Birminghan Triplets, the Yankees Class A farm team.

Indians Team Set

1965 Season
Banks was a late September call-up by the Indians, appearing in only four games and batting .200 (1 for 5) with a double.  Three of his four appearances were pinch-hitting appearances and his only start came on the final day of the season when he started at third for the Indians.  With the Portland Beavers, the Indians' top farm club, Banks hit .279 with a team-leading 35 home runs.  He had 95 RBIs, second on the Beavers to Bill Davis (#546) who drove in 106.

1963 Topps #564
1964 Topps #223
1966 Topps #488
Other Notable Baseball Cards
First Mainstream Card:  1963 Topps #564
Topps Flagship Set Appearances (4):  1963-1966
Most Recent Mainstream Card:  1966 Topps #488

10 - Banks non-parallel baseball cards in the Beckett online database as of 3/8/20.

Baseball Reference
Beckett Database
The Trading Card Database

In some cases, the first and last cards listed above are subjective and chosen by me if multiple cards were released within the same year.  Most recent mainstream card may also be subjective and does not include extremely low serial numbered cards, buybacks or cut autograph cards.

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