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Former Senators outfielder George Binks passes away

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  • Former Senators outfielder George Binks passes away

    Surrounded by warm thoughts and prayers
    from a family that has grown and spread
    across the United States, George "Bingo"
    Binks, husband, father, grandfather,
    great-grandfather, Professional Baseball
    Player, and master mechanic passed from
    the earth on Saturday, November 13, 2010
    at the age of 96.

    George was born on 11 July 1914 to John
    Binkowski and Teresa Lewandowski, the
    fifth of six children, in Chicago, Illinois.
    To escape the shocking poverty of urban
    Chicago in the deep years of The Great
    Depression, George hopped a freight
    at night that was headed to the Southwest.
    At dawn in Bloomington, Illinois George
    saw several hundred kids on a baseball
    field trying out for a minor league team.
    At 30 mph, George and a friend jumped
    from the train, blackened by exhaust soot,
    into the trackside weeds. George was number
    384 in the line-up. He slept in the dugout for
    two cold April nights in 1933, stuffing
    newspaper into his clothes for warmth.
    By the third day, George made the final cut
    and was paid a few dollars. It was the first
    time in days that he had enough money to eat.
    He changed his name to Binks, and later, was
    given the moniker "Bingo," for his ability
    to hit in the "clutch!"

    Thus began a baseball career in the Minors
    that skittered around the country, from
    Monessen Indians in the Pennsylvania
    State Association to the
    Owensboro Oilers in the Kentucky,
    Illinois, and Tennessee League to the
    Springfield Indians of the Middle
    Atlantic League to the
    Tyler Trojans of the East Texas League
    to the Wilkes-Barre Barons of the
    Eastern League to the Cedar Rapids
    Raiders and Charleston Senators
    of the Middle Atlantic League to the
    Madison Blues of the Illinois, Indiana,
    Iowa League to the Green Bay Blue Sox
    of the Wisconsin State League to the
    Milwaukee Brewers of the American

    When the war broke out, Binks was
    classified 4-F, "not acceptable for military
    service," because he was deaf in one ear
    due to having mastoid trouble in his childhood.
    Instead of sitting out the war and continuing
    his career, he sacrificed baseball to work as
    a machinist in a Studebaker aviation factory
    in Chicago, Illinois, producing war material
    for the war effort during 1942 and '43.
    Late season 1944 George "Bingo" Binks was
    swinging a bat for the Brewers and was
    averaging over .400. So the Washington
    Senators bought his contract. In '45 he played
    first base and outfield. He batted and fielded
    left-handed. His RBI and doubles were tops
    on the team and he could have been 'Rookie
    of the year', but that award was not given till
    '47. In 1947 he was traded to the Philadelphia
    Athletics, and in 1948 moved to the St Louis
    Browns. In a five-season career, Binks was a
    .253 hitter (277-for-1093) with eight home runs
    and 130 RBI in 351 games, including 112 runs,
    55 doubles, 10 triples, and 21 stolen bases. [2]
    After his baseball career, George worked
    at General Motors Locomotive in LaGrange,
    Illinois, where, over the course of 30 years,
    he became a master mechanic. Management
    pleaded with him to stay 2 years past retirement,
    and he did. The stories from his days fixing the
    'big machines' at GM were as rich and savory
    as his stories about Joe DiMaggio, Ted Williams,
    and Yogi Berra.

  • #2
    I'm beginning to realize that whenever I see a post authored by Cowtipper that begins with the word "Former...", we're not in for good news.


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