Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Last night the All-Star game was played, and today is a day of rest before the 2009 baseball season begins its second phase. So I thought it might be nice to take this opportunity to salute one of the first baseball stars......

"The Winning Season"

Matthew Modine
From CNN:

The turn-of-the-century Pittsburgh Pirates shortstop known as "The Flying Dutchman," was one of baseball's all-time greats: an original Hall of Famer and revered player and coach, not to mention a feared hitter. He's still in the top 10 in several all-time hitting categories almost 100 years after he retired.

"The Winning Season," based on a children's book by Dan Gutman, concerns a teenager named Joe Soshack (Shawn Hatosy) whose family is in a financial bind. When Joe comes across an extremely valuable Honus Wagner baseball card in the garage of an elderly neighbor, he realizes that he may have the ticket to solve his family's financial problems.
However, the magical card has other ideas. Joe mysteriously finds himself in 1909 and meets the actual Wagner, whose Pirates team is taking on Ty Cobb's Detroit Tigers in the World Series. Through his relationship with Wagner, Soshack learns what is truly valuable.

In the pilot episode of 'Royal Pains', we saw that the Marshall family owned two copies of the Honus Wagner baseball card; a great example to show just how rich the family really was!

From Wikipedia, about the baseball card:

The T206 Honus Wagner baseball card depicts, Pittsburgh Pirates', Honus Wagner, a dead-ball era baseball player who is widely considered to be one of the best players of all time. The card was designed and issued by the American Tobacco Company (ATC) from 1909 to 1911 as part of its T206 series. Wagner refused to allow production of his baseball card to continue, either because he did not want children to buy cigarette packs to get his card, or because he wanted more compensation from the ATC. The ATC ended production of the Wagner card and a total of only 50 to 200 cards were ever distributed to the public. In 1933, the card was first listed at a price value of US$50 in Jefferson Burdick's The American Card Catalog, making it the most expensive baseball card in the world at the time.

In 2007, the card was sold to a California collector for $2.8 million. These transactions have made the Wagner card the most valuable baseball card in history. From TNT for "The Winning Season":

Honus Wagner was born Johannes Peter Wagner on Feb. 24, 1874.

Wagner made his major league debut in 1897.

He batted .344 his first year.

During his career, Wagner played shortstop for the Louisville Colonels and the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Wagner's nicknames include "The Flying Dutchman," "Hans" and "Honus."

Wagner batted .300 in 17 consecutive seasons, finishing his career with a .329 lifetime average.

Wagner was batting champion for the National League seven times.

Leading the league six times, Wagner stole 722 bases during his 21-year career.

Wagner retired with more hits, runs, RBIs, doubles, triples and stolen bases than any other National League player.

After retiring, Wagner became manager of his old team, the Pittsburgh Pirates.

In 1936, Wagner was among the first five players to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.


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