Some people argue that Wagner is the greatest player of all time. The argument goes like this. Wagner is by far the best shortstop in history. More than any other player at any position. So, he dominates his position more than any other player, so he is the greatest of all time.
This argument is certainly logical. However, should he fall in ranking because Alex Rodriguez was such a great shortstop? That is one argument against that logic. However, when I did this study guess who won his position by the most points. Yes, good old Honus. It did help that I took 10 percent of Rodriquez’s total away from him as a steroid penalty. However, Wagner did have a bigger penalty for timeline.
Wagner had a super season in 1908 one of the greatest of all time. As a good fielding shortstop, he had an Ops of 957. Next on the team was hall of famer Fred Clarke who had one of 712. The thing is Clarke had a decent year. The team as a whole was in one of the greatest pennant races the whole year. They won 98 games and tied for second a game behind the Cubs. The only important category Wagner didn’t lead the team in was walks. For the National League he also led in all the other categories except runs. He was one run behind league leader Fred Tenney. The thing was that Wagner played in a park that favored pitchers that year.
The other thing Wagner is famous for is being a baseball card. A tobacco company had Wagner on a card. Apparently, they asked permission after printing some cards. He rejected the request based on not wanting to encourage kids to try tobacco or the lack of payment for using his image. Probably a bit of both. In 2016 one of the Wagner cards sold for 3.12 million which is a record for a baseball card or any small piece of cardboard.