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Honus Wagner | [Dennis DeValeria, Jeanne DeValeria]

Honus Wagner

Honus Wagner, whose career in baseball (most of it with the Pittsburgh Pirates) stretched from 1895 to 1917, was the first American sports superstar of the twentieth century. One of the first five players to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in its first year (1939), he was probably the best shortstop in baseball's history.
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Publisher's Summary

Honus Wagner, whose career in baseball (most of it with the Pittsburgh Pirates) stretched from 1895 to 1917, was the first American sports superstar of the twentieth century. One of the first five players to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in its first year (1939), he was probably the best shortstop in baseball's history. His great career and the dawn of baseball as popular entertainment occurred simultaneously, and he has become an icon of the early game; his 1909 baseball card, one of which sold four years ago for $451,000, is a holy grail of American memorabilia. This first major biography shows why Wagner was America's favorite image of sport during baseball's transition to the modern era.

©1995 Dennis DeValeria and Jeanne Burke DeValeria; (P)1996 Blackstone Audiobooks

What the Critics Say

"A superb portrait, painted with thorough research on the canvas of one of baseball's most fascinating eras.' (Gene Carney)

What Members Say

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3.5 (18 )
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  •  
    Robert Burlingame, CA, USA 02-28-07
    Robert Burlingame, CA, USA 02-28-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
    49
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    "History comes alive!"

    The first review I ever did here was for "Clemente" ~ which I loved. However, after listening to "Honus Wagner" I can say that I'm even more impressed! Wagner's career coincided w/ the growth of baseball from a "game" to a "sport" and he was truly its' best ambassador.

    Besides the expected details of The Flying Dutchman's career w/ the Pittsburgh Pirates, we are also introduced to the dramatic changes that were happening in America at the turn of the 20th Century. Automobiles replacing carriages; athletes & actors replacing statesmen & scholars as the public's sweethearts; Coporate mergers & takeovers affecting everday life; etc.

    Plus there is SOOO MUCH I learned about old time baseball that I never knew before: The DH rule nearly introduced in the 1890's; Rabid fans who roadtripped across the circuit to cheer their teams; players suspected of using "performance enhancements" and the public's outcry.

    An INCREDIBLE read that literally brought a tear to my eye when completed. BRAVO HONUS!!

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alex AUSTIN, TX, United States 08-20-10
    Alex AUSTIN, TX, United States 08-20-10 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    119
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    289
    56
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    FOLLOWING
    10
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    Overall
    "Very dry"

    This book is like someone going through the newspaper archives of each game and reading the recaps. Filled with uninteresting items like pitcher x had a sore arm, player y had two hits. The authors did not distill the information and present a compelling storyline. I wanted to be interested, to learn about Wagner and baseball at the turn of the century, but it was boring. Sure, there's some good nuggets, but you have to dig. For example, Wagner getting hit by a pitch, charging the mound, but regained his composure and told the picture to rub his back. Or the description of industrial Pittsburgh at the time, being so filled with air pollution that they couldn't see 50 feet, so they had to end the game.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Auburn Hills, MI, USA 04-26-10
    John Auburn Hills, MI, USA 04-26-10
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
    Overall
    "Awesome baseball history!"

    Not only does it give an excellent biography of one of baseballs all time greatest players, it also gives an excellent history of the start up of the National and American leagues.
    A must listen for all baseball fans.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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