Houns wagner, nicked named the flying Dutchman, was the best shortstop in his era. Today, amongst shortstops he still ranks at the top. His bow legged appearance would lead one to believe that his speed was questionable, however his speed placed him at the top of his league five times in the stolen base category. Hotly debated was the issue of who the best player was in his era; Cobb or Wagner. Historians are still split in who the best really was. When the first men were elected for the hall of fame in 1936, Cobb, Wagner, and Ruth shared the honor. Wagner still is among the top 20 in seven different hitting categories.
In addition to his hitting prowess, Wagner was a strong fielder. Few players have combined the offensive and defensive skills swell as Wagner. His strong hands and rifle arm were superb. John McGraw said "the only way to get the ball past Honus is to hit the ball eight foot over his head."
Wagner was a native of Carnegie, Pennsylvania. The pirates offerd him a contract in 1894 to play in Kansas City, but that seemed to far for Honus. Instead he signed with Steubenvill and played on four minor league teams before signing with the national league Louisville Cardinals in 1897. Wagner played for Louisville for three years primarilly as an outfielder and a third basemen. In 1900 Louisville was to be dropped from the national league so several players went to Pittsburgh. Among those joining Wagner was future Hall of Famers Fred Clarke and the infamous Rude Waddell.
In 1900 Wagner played right field, third base, second base, first base, and even huried three scoreless innings as a pitcher. He won his first batting title in 1900 and led the league in triples, doubles,