J. Honus Wagner
Honus Wagner, the Flying Dutchman, is considered by many to be baseball’s greatest all-around player. The Pittsburgh Pirates shortstop was the NL batting champion for 7 of 17 seasons with a lifetime average of .329 and led the league in stolen bases on six occasions totaling 722 in his career. He was one of the first five players inducted to The Baseball Hall of Fame.
When the Baseball Hall of Fame held its first election In 1936, Wagner tied for second in the voting Babe Ruth trailing only Ty Cobb. In 1969 on the 100th Anniversary of professional baseball, a vote was taken to honor the greatest players ever, and Wagner was selected as the all time shortstop. In 1999, despite 82 years having passed since his last game and 44 years since his death, Wagner was voted number 13 on ‘The Sporting News’ list of The Hundred Greatest Players making him the highest ranking shortstop still to this day.
A line drive hitter with power to all fields, Honus topped the doubles seven times, triples three times, and R.B.I. three times. His 252 lifetime triples are the NL mark; his 651 doubles rank third and his 3,430 hits rank fourth. The 1909 T-206 Honus Wagner baseball card has long been recognized as the most iconic highly coveted and valuable object in the field of sports memorabilia.
J. Honus Wagner’s birth name was actually John Paul Wagner and he desired to be referred to by this, however, base ball legend and bitter rival, Ty Cobb started calling him Honus. In German, ‘Honus’ refers to someone of low character and lacking brilliance. Although Honus disliked the nickname, the name stuck and from then on he was known as Honus Wagner as he reluctantly accepted.