1915 Cracker Jack

Honus Wagner

1915 Cracker Jack 68 Honus Wagner

Johannes Peter “Honus” “Hans” Wagner

Born: February 24, 1874 - Chartiers, PA
Died: December 6, 1955 - Carnegie, PA
Batted: RH
Threw: RH
Position: SS
Career BA: .328
Managerial Record: 1–4

Louisville Colonels NL (1897–1899)
Pittsburgh Pirates NL (1900–1916; player-manager: 1917)

It is very hard not just to consider Honus Wagner as the best shortstop in the Cracker Jack Collection, but rather the greatest shortstop of all time. One of the first heroes of the game, “The Flying Dutchman” was a great batsman, superb defensively, and one of the fastest players in the league. Wagner’s name is sure to appear on any short list of the 10 greatest players of all time. With eight batting titles and a .328 lifetime batting average, Wagner also banged out more than 3,400 hits over his brilliant career.

A powerfully built man with large hands and bowed legs, Wagner was not graceful, but he was speedy on the basepaths, stealing 723 bases during his career. In 1908 he led the league with a .354 batting average and in most other categories as well. His offensive winning percentage that year was .880; a single season league record that stood until 2001. Although he played on only one Pittsburgh World Series Champion team (1909), we could write volumes on his individual accomplishments. Among contemporaries like Mathewson and Cobb, he was considered the best. Although there are stories about his rivalry with Cobb, they actually spent time together hunting during the offseason.

At the end of his career, Wagner managed the Pirates for a brief period before retiring as a player. He became a successful businessman in Carnegie, Pennsylvania, coached locally, and raised his family. After his business ventures were hard hit by the Depression, Wagner returned to the Pirates to coach from 1933 until 1951. Elected to the Hall of Fame in its inaugural year, Wagner was truly one of the greats. Of course the famous Wagner T206 card has also added to the legend of “The Flying Dutchman.” In the whole scheme of things, however, the legacy of the great Honus Wagner stands on its own merit.  

– Tom and Ellen Zappala, The Cracker Jack Collection: Baseball's Prized Players. For more information on their book and/or to order a copy at a special PSA discount, visit http://crackerjackplayers.com/PSA_order.html

Card Number PR 1 Good 2 VG 3 VG-EX 4 EX 5 EX-MT 6 NM 7 NM-MT 8 MT 9
68 $225 $450 $900 $1,850 $3,500 $5,250 $7,750 $13,000 $45,000
Auth 1Q 1 1.5Q 1.5 2Q 2 2.5 3Q 3 3.5 4Q 4 4.5 5Q 5 5.5 6Q 6 6.5 7Q 7 7.5 8Q 8 8.5 9Q 9 10 Total
6 1 4 1 1 7 2 12 1 8 1 9 1 1 10 1 6 1 17 2 2 94
Condition Census (Explain)
Pos Grade Thumbnail Pedigree and History
1 MINT 9
1 MINT 9
2 NM-MT+ 8.5
2 NM-MT+ 8.5
3 NM-MT 8 (17)
Public Auctions
Grade Price Date Firm Sale Lot #
NM-MT 8 $13,735 May-2015 Mile High Card Company October 2011 11
NM-MT+ 8.5 $24,554 May-2015 Mile High Card Company August 2008 Auction 57
NM 7 $11,032 Mar-2015 SCP Auctions SCP Auctions July 2008 Internet Auction 121
VG-EX 4 $3,691 Mar-2015 SCP Auctions MAY 2012 PREMIER INTERNET AUCTION 890
VG-EX 4 $3,902 Mar-2015 SCP Auctions SCP Auctions September 2007 Internet Auction 221
NM-MT 8 $15,630 Oct-2014 Goodwin and Co. Auctions Masterpieces and Uncommon Commons XIX 9
NM-MT 8 $17,986 Oct-2014 Goodwin and Co. Auctions Masterpieces and Uncommon Commons XV 12
EX 5 $8,888 Oct-2014 Robert Edward Auctions 2014 Spring Auction 515
NM-MT 8 $10,665 Jan-2012 Robert Edward Auctions 2012 Auction 369
NM-MT 8 $9,075 Dec-2011 Memory Lane, Inc. Winter 2011 28
VG-EX+ 4.5 (0) $8,813 Jan-2010 Robert Edward Auctions 2010 Auction 443
NM-MT 8 $12,980 Nov-2008 Memory Lane, Inc. Winter Extravaganza Rarities 44
EX-MT 6 $6,960 Jan-2006 Robert Edward Auctions 2006 Auction 283
NM 7 $6,960 Jan-2005 Robert Edward Auctions 2005 Auction 244

From The Experts

While Honus Wagner may be best known for his T206 baseball card and not his athletic prowess, the fact remains that he set the standard for offensive excellence at the shortstop position. Wagner, owner of eight NL batting titles, finished his career with a .327 average, 3,415 hits, 1,732 RBI and 722 stolen bases. When you look throughout history, very few shortstops have ever put up serious offensive numbers. So, when you consider the few who have been able to do so and compare them to Wagner, a greater appreciation for the Pirate legend emerges. Before Ernie Banks, before Cal Ripken, Jr., before Derek Jeter and before A-Rod, there was Wagner. This stunning card captures Wagner nearing the end of his career as a player, and what a career it was.