Bingo Binks, 96; Was OF/1B for Washington Senators, Philadelphia Athletics, St. Louis Browns

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Bill Schenley

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Dec 9, 2010, 10:39:51 PM12/9/10
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George A. Binks Sr.

1944 Grand Studio baseball card:
http://tinyurl.com/39wbo2q

FROM: The Chicago Tribune ~
(Paid obit)

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
Association. [1]

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.

George Binks Sr. 7-11-1914/11-13-2010.
Late wife Ruth (Naus), son Gregory.
He is survived by his four children, Terrance,
(Jenny) Shelbyville, Tn. Randall,(Claire)
Mariposa, Ca. Jodee, Strauss/Wolff, Chico,
Ca. and George Jr., D.G.,Il. Ten grandchildren
and ten great grandchildren

George was a kind, loving, quiet, humorous,
gentle man who possessed a deep and abiding
testimony about life. He was the best grampa
a kid could have.

Visitation Friday, Nov. 19, 2010 from
3 to 9 p.m. at Toon Funeral Home, 4920 Main St.,
Downers Grove, IL. Funeral Services will be
Saturday, Nov. 20 at 9:30 a.m. to St. Joseph
Catholic Church, Downers Grove, Mass 10 a.m.

Interment Queen of Heaven Cemetery, Hillside.
---
Photo: http://tinyurl.com/2uwyhbe

MLB Stats:
http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/b/binksge01.shtml

[1] Monessen, Owensboro, Springfield,
Tyler, Wilkes-Barre, Cedar Rapids,
Charleston, Green Bay, *Madison*,
Milwaukee, *Toledo*, *Baltimore*,
*Buffalo*.

[2] More on George "Bingo" Binks:
http://www.borchertfield.com/2010/04/bingo.html

Thanks to Dave Lambert for the heads up.


Corby Gilmore

unread,
Dec 9, 2010, 11:33:32 PM12/9/10
to
"Bill Schenley" (stra...@neo.rr.com) writes:
> George A. Binks Sr.
>
> 1944 Grand Studio baseball card:
> http://tinyurl.com/39wbo2q
>
> FROM: The Chicago Tribune ~
> (Paid obit)
>
> 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.
>
> 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]


With the death of George Binks, there are now unofficially 43 former
Philadelphia A's still living.

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