And he was trying to do it in weather-challenged Upstate New York.
"That's the main goal of the Whalers," Blanks told The Hudson Register-Star in 2011, after his 14U team lost in the league championship game, but looked forward to another tournament. "Play a lot of games."
Blanks knew what it was like to come out of the Northeast. He did it and turned pro. His professional career, though, lasted just three seasons, never making AA.
Blanks' professional career began in 1988, taken by the Braves, out of Grambling State University. He went to Grambling out of Hudson High School.
In college, Blanks played his summers in nearby Schenectady, in the Northeast Collegiate Baseball League's Mohawks. Overall, he played three seasons there.
With the Mohawks, Blanks knocked three singles in a June 1986 contest, and did it again in a June 1987 game.
With the Braves, Blanks played 1988 at rookie Idaho Falls. He hit .307 over 67 games. He also knocked in 34 and stole 32. He helped lead off the scoring in a June 1988 game with a lead-off double.
Blanks moved to single-A Burlington in 1989, but his average dropped. Over 93 games, Blanks hit .209. His stolen base total also dropped to four.
Blanks returned to Burlington for 1990, but he only got into 48 games. He hit just .203, knocked in 11 and stole just one base. It was his final year as a pro.
- Schenectady Gazette, Oct. 4, 1988: Mohawks Had Three Alumni Playing Pro Ball This Year
- Hudson Register-Star, July 27, 2011: 14U Whalers fall in championship
Made the Majors: 746 - 50.2%
Never Made Majors: 740-49.8%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors: 325
10+ Seasons in the Minors: 192