I've been looking to add a few of the insert cards to my Heritage Cubs team sets. So last weekend I spent some time and some cash on ebay and picked up these four cards.
2006 Flashback Ernie Banks - the card tells how on the last day of the season in 1957, with the Cubs more than 30 games out of first place, Ernie went 5 for 5. He finished the season with 43 home runs and a .285 batting average
2008 Flashback Relic Ernie Banks - this card tells us that Ernie Banks was the first National League player to win back to back MVP awards. And he did this on very mediocre Cubs teams. In 1959 he slugged 45 home runs, drove in 143 runs, and hit .304. The picture on the card, however, is from 1969 (the baseball centennial patch is on his right sleeve).
2009 Flashback - In 1960, Mr. Cub led the majors in home runs, belting 41. This was his 4th consecutive season of 40 home runs or more, a record for shortstops.
2009 Then and Now - Ernie Banks / Ryan Howard. Both led the majors in home runs.
All these cards serve as a reminder of just what a stud player Ernie Banks was. I only knew him at the end of his career, when he was playing first base. He was more of the cartoon character Mr. Cub, the team cheerleader rather than the team leader. But in the late 50's and early 60's, he was the non-steroid A-Rod of his day. He was a real oddity as a power hitting shortstop back then. The rest of the team wasn't usually very good, but Banks was the one player in the lineup that opposing pitchers truly feared.