Sometimes you come across a player that has a lot of book presence in the market. Billy Martin is one that comes to mind as well as most of the other Yankee stars like Mantle and DiMaggio. Then there are others that have the market presence but still languish in the shadows. They may have played for a team in a smaller market or be from an era that is not as popular as some others. Honus Wagner is one of those players that has had several biographies written about him. So how do fans decide which ones are worth their time and which ones they should avoid at any cost? They stop by the bookcase of course and I give them my thoughts………
Honus Wagner was the National League superstar of his era. He was the nicer, friendlier version of his American League counterpart Ty Cobb. Playing in Pittsburgh probably diminished his popularity to some degree, but he still produced on the field and became one of the brightest stars in the game. You would think it would be easy to write about a career of this caliber but this book proves that it may be harder than one thinks.
Honus Wagner, A Biography disappointed me. I was hoping for a book that would give me a good feel for the player and the personality contained within. What I found was a book that was very big on game detail. Within those details it made it cumbersome to get through the book, because you were never sure where it was headed. Me being the reader, also had trouble with keeping track of who the author was talking about at that particular time. Was it Wagner or one of his teammates? It just was missing some sort of structure in the writing that really left me at times, confused.
The author’s research and work involved in fact-finding is the one bright spot of the book. It really came across that they tried to find every fact they could about Honus Wagner that was out there. The big problem was that the presentation of all those facts was missing some structure and in the end, not good in my opinion. I also didn’t get any good information regarding Honus Wagner. I had wanted to learn more about him on a personal level and had high hopes that this book would deliver. Unfortunately, I was wrong. I have read other books on Wagner in the past and reviewed some of them on here as well, and this sadly fails in comparison to the others.
Pirates fans might enjoy this book, just for the fact that it is a local boy makes good story. Other fans not so much and I recommend you gravitate towards some of the other Honus Wagner biographies that are out there on the market. If you still are interested in this one though, you can get this book from the nice folks at The University of Pittsburgh Press.