This Week Marks the Anniversary of a Honus Wagner Milestone!

This Week Marks the Anniversary of a Honus Wagner Milestone!

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This Week Marks the Anniversary of a Honus Wagner Milestone!

We can’t let this week go by without mentioning an important event that took place 103 years ago. On June 9, 1914, at the Baker Bowl, Honus Wagner becomes the second player ever to collect 3000 hits when he doubled off the Phillies’ Erskine Mayer. Cap Anson was the only other major leaguer to have 3000 hits by this date.

Before I get into his career statistics, he’s a few quotes about the man many consider one of the best ever:

“When he fielded grounders, his huge hands also collected large scoops of infield dirt, which accompanied his throws to first like the tail of a comet.” –Baseball Library, Honus Wagner page.

“He was a gentle, kind man, a storyteller…He was the most beloved man in baseball before Ruth.” – Historian / Author Bill James

“He was the nearest thing to a perfect player no matter where his manager chose to play him.” – John McGraw

“Spike Honus Wagner? It would have taken quite a foolhardy man.” – Ty Cobb 

“There is something Lincolnesque about him, his rugged homeliness, his simplicity…” – Sportswriter Arthur Daley

“The way to get a ball past Honus is to hit it eight feet over his head.” – John McGraw 

Honus Wagner, “The Flying Dutchman,” played 21 seasons in the major leagues (1897 to 1917). He started with Louisville (1897-1899) and then the rest of his career was with the Pirates (1900-1917). Wagner managed the Pirates in 1917, and then became a coach for 39 years (1933-1951). Arky Vaughan, Ralph Kiner, Pie Traynor were some of his notable pupils.

 Over his career, Wagner hit .329, with 3400 hits (7th all-time), 101 home runs, 1732 RBIs (21st all-time), 722 stolen bases (10th all-time), and a .391 on-base percentage. He won eight batting titles (tied for the most in National League history with Tony Gwynn). He was a five-time National League leader in RBIs and also in stolen bases; a six-time slugging leader; and was the star of four pennant winners and the 1909 World Series.

His number 33 has been retired by the Pirates. He was selected to both the major league All-Century team and the All-Time team. Honus Wagner was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1936 as one of the first five members.

Gary Livacari

Photo Credits: All from Google search

Information: Excerpts edited from the Honus Wagner Wikipedia page.

Statistics from Baseball Reference.com, Honus Wagner page

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I'm a baseball historian who also loves to write. My forte is identifying ballplayers in old photos, and my specail interest is the Dead Ball Era.

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