Honus Wagner, “The Flying Dutchman” – most people know of him because of his famous, and incredibly valuable, baseball card.
But he was an amazing baseball player – he won eight batting titles, tied for the most in National League history with Tony Gwynn.
He also led the league in slugging six times, and in stolen bases five times and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame as one of the first five members, receiving the second-highest vote total, behind Ty Cobb and tied with Babe Ruth.
Although Ty Cobb is frequently cited as the greatest player of the dead-ball era, some contemporaries regarded Wagner as the better all-around player, and most baseball historians consider Wagner to be the greatest shortstop ever.
To top it all off, he worked in a coal mine as a kid!
Honus was a strong dude for his time and he definitely looks it!
It’s hard to find reference photos of him actually playing for this time period, but I found one of what looked to be an exhibition or maybe batting practice.
To give it more of a game feel, I filled up the stands and obviously, I took it from black and white to color to add some life to it.
In this painting, we’re watching Honus as he follows through on a big swing – a big man with a big bat.