c.1906 Honus Wagner Signed Lithographic Pastel Batting Pose – "1906" & "Pittsburgh" Inscriptions Penned in Wagner's Hand – Measures Approximately 7" x 14" - Full PSA/DNA LOA
Most historians would firmly agree that Honus Wagner stands as our National Pastime's greatest all-time shortstop, yet beyond his remarkable diamond prowess, it is his T206 subject's esoteric reverence that places a majority of his collectibles at a highly coveted level. While autographed keepsakes of the immortal Cooperstown Inductee are certainly not scarce, locating pre-1910 scripted artifacts is a near-impossible task. Indeed, a vast majority of the Wagner autographed collectibles in circulation were signed by the husky legend after his retirement in 1917, substantiating why this extraordinary c.1906 lithographic signed Wagner batting photo truly stands as one of his most significant scripted heirlooms. Additional shipping charge of $25.00
Brilliantly museum matted and framed (in a super aesthetically pleasing vintage-like gold frame), Wagner's classic batting pose reveals bright pastel hues with the approximate 7" x 14" turn of the century image exhibiting only some minor toning on his jersey as well as some soiling spots in the upper right and lower quadrants. No obtrusive flaws are evident and the critical "John H. Wagner" black fountain pen script is situated directly beneath his period-style cleats. The autograph portrays eye pleasing "6" strength, with Wagner adding inscriptions that read "Pittsburgh" and "May 19-06". Obviously, the latter 1906 notation is most significant since it dates the hallowed image to the 1906 era, placing this as one of the earliest signed Wagner illustrations extant. That 1906 campaign, Wagner would begin a run of four consecutive N.L. batting championships via his stellar .339 mark, with the "Flying Dutchman" ultimately pacing the Senior Circuit a remarkable eight different seasons.
Long before Johannes Peter "Honus" Wagner was establishing himself as baseball's pinnacle shortstop with his renowned Pittsburgh club, the legendary Cooperstown inductee was actually making a play as a professional pitcher. Born on February 24, 1874 in Carnegie, Pennsylvania, his earliest ties to professional baseball can be traced back to 1895 when he joined the Interstate League's Steubenville, Ohio ballclub as a right-handed twirler. After renowned baseball executive Ed Barrow secured the Atlantic League's Paterson, New Jersey club in 1895, his first monumental decision was to secure a rather short (5' 9"), raw-boned youngster by the name of John Wagner for his 1896 Paterson team. Wagner had hit so well for his Ohio club, that Barrow removed him from the pitching rubber, placing Wagner at 3rd base and in the outfield as an everyday player.
Unfortunately for Barrow, he sold Wagner to the National league's Louisville Colonels before the end of the 1897 season where he starred for several seasons before joining Pittsburgh due to the Colonels folding before the end of the 1899 season. "Hans" was now about to embark on what is truly considered the most formidable shortstop career in MLB history. Having been moved to his renowned shortstop position (from 3rd base), he would retain that position for virtually the entire length of his extraordinary 21-year career, amassing 3,420 hits to the tune of a robust .338 lifetime batting average. Along the way, he would claim a staggering eight batting titles, a National League record only tied by Tony Gwynn in the 1997 campaign (ironically, Gwynn would likewise accumulate a .338 lifetime average).
A fast and smart baserunner, Wagner would steal 723 bases, leading the league in that category five times, with his clutch hitting accounting for 1,732 R.B.I.'s. Most significantly he was the Pirate's peerless leader, eventually being the kingpin in Pittsburgh capturing their first World Series title in 1909 when they bested Ty Cobb's Detroit club in a tightly contested 7-game match. It was in that Fall Classic, that Wagner's popularity would steal the hearts of the American fan base, out-hitting and out-playing Cobb in nearly every aspect of the game. In 1936, his magnificent career earned him an eternal place in Cooperstown, N.Y., elected to the Hall of Fame as one of its five Charter Members.
As the ultimate testament for his unparalleled legacy, Wagner's remarkable play eventually triggered this quote from baseball's arguable greatest manager ever, the legendary John J. McGraw: "I name Honus Wagner first on my list, not only because he was a great batting champion and base-runner, and also baseball's foremost shortstop, but because he could have been first at any other position, with the possible exception of pitcher. In all my career, I never saw such a versatile player." Most would agree that no truer words were ever spoken, with this timeless offering effectively "turning back the clock" to an era when the immortal Wagner wore out pitchers with his uncanny batting prowess, stroking a seemingly infinite number of safeties against the National League's overmatched hurlers. Transcending time, the sparkling image and critical Honus Wagner autograph/inscriptions have miraculously survived the past 114 years to reside as one of the earliest known signed Wagner photos that would provide any esteemed hobbyist unprecedented bragging rights!
MIN BID $1,000