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On This Day In History…

February 24, marks the birthday of one of baseball's greatest all-around players, Honus Wagner.

The superb Pittsburgh Pirates' shortstop, nicknamed the "Flying Dutchman" for his speed, was an astounding player who played in the National League from 1897 to 1917.

One of the original inductees to be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame, Wagner finished his career with a total of 722 steals and a lifetime batting average of .329. After he retired he had more hits, runs, RBI, doubles, triples, games and steals than any other player at the time.

The legendary Babe Ruth once described Wagner's astounding skills:

"At shortstop there is only one candidate, the immortal Honus Wagner. He was just head and shoulders above anyone else in that position. Fellows like Marion, Bancroft, Peck and Billy Jurges were all great fielders. But Honus could more than out-field all of them. He was perhaps the greatest right-handed hitter of all time. He had remarkably long arms, hams for hands, and just drew the ball to him. Ed Barrow once told me he could have been as good in any position but he made his greatest name as shortstop. He led the National League seven times at bat and he was always up with the leaders when he was in his forties."

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