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Let's Play Two: The Legend of Mr. Cub, the Life of Ernie Banks based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
An absolute gem of a baseball book! The author truly captures the sometimes complicated life of the Hall of Famer in his extensively researched and eloquently written classic. I could not put the book down. I am a 68 year old baseball fanatic who has read almost all the baseball literary treasures and "Let's Play Two" definitely ranks in my Top Ten list! A must read.
Maybe the years have rolled by and nowadays there might be many who don’t know who said those words and the impact they had on baseball and the nation. To me, they epitomized the character of a fantastic ballplayer, one I thoroughly enjoyed as I spent my youth in the suburbs of Chicago. I still remember my father telling me that even if the rest of the team wasn’t hitting, you could count on Ernie Banks regularly swatting balls out of the park. Author Ron Rapoport hits a grand slam with his book on Ernie. “Let’s Play Two” is a revealing look at not only a talented athlete, but the man who quietly gave so many years to the Chicago Cubs, a team that spent most of his career out of contention. The book is amazing, and the extensive list of sources – interviews and publications -- explains why. Along the way, Mr. Rapoport fleshes out the story in many directions. Ernie Banks was brought to the Cubs in the early days when most players were white and fans were still not used to black players on the roster. The author does not shy away from the racism, and recounts numerous stories that are hard to believe 55-65 years later. Players like Banks quietly took the abuse and internalized it. The glory and the pain of 1969 is relived, bringing back the memories that evince flashes of a rollercoaster ride that climbed to such heights and then swiftly rocketed back down to the bottom. While we see Ernie on this trip, there are plenty of moments that help us to understand the make-up of Cubs roster as well as the rest of the league. Overall, an informative book that provides plenty of backdrop to help explain the central character. Ernie Banks was a hometown hero and the player that every team in the league wanted to have. Mr. Rapoport artfully explains this in what is probably the best sports biography I have ever read. Five stars. My thanks to NetGalley and Hachette Books for an advance complimentary copy of this book.