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Monday, September 27, 2010

The Hoffman & Wagner Barber Shop

A 1908 Daily Notes ad for the Hoffman & Wagner Barber Shop and Bath House puts "Honus" Wagner's older brother, Albert "Butts" Wagner as a partner and proprietor in a business located at 2 West Pike Street(Basement of First National Bank Building)

Intersection of Pike St. and Central Ave - Circa 1905 from JeffersonCollegeTimes - Sept. 2010 issue

(Click to enlarge)
Note the symbolic Barber Pole(far right) adjacent to the railing of the steps leading down to the Barber Shop. Also notice no wires yet strung on the poles


Albert "Butts" Wagner, considered by many as the ballplayer of the family, had a brief major league career himself, and is often credited for getting his younger brother Honus his first tryout. In 1895, when his Inter-State League team was in need of help, Butts" persuaded his manager, Edward Barrow to take a look at his younger brother which became Honus' bridge to the major leagues
Albert "Butts" Wagner (September 17, 1871 – November 26, 1928), played one year of Major League Baseball. He played for two different teams during the 1898 season. Albert "Butts" Wagner is also depicted as a eccentric inventor during a boy's long dream sequence in the book The Mystery of the Wagner Whacker. Wagner invents an automatic bat machine, and the boy helps defend him from organized crime figures who want to steal the invention.


Johannes Peter "Honus" Wagner ; February 24, 1874 – December 6, 1955 ),
Honus Wagner was born to German immigrants Peter and Katheryn Wagner in the Chartiers neighborhood of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, now a part of the borough of Carnegie, Pennsylvania.
Following in his older brothers footsteps, Honus Wagner had also trained to be a barber before becoming successful in baseball.

Nicknamed The Flying Dutchman due to his superb speed and German heritage ("Dutch" in this instance being an alteration of "Deutsch"), was an American Major League Baseball shortstop who played in the National League from 1897 to 1917, almost entirely for the Pittsburgh Pirates.

In 1936, the Baseball Hall of Fame inducted Wagner as one of the first five members. He received the second-highest vote total, behind Ty Cobb and tied with Babe Ruth.


Although Cobb is frequently cited as the greatest player of the dead-ball era, some contemporaries regarded Wagner as the better all-around player, and most baseball historians consider Wagner to be the greatest shortstop ever. Cobb himself called Wagner "maybe the greatest star ever to take the diamond.

Honus Wagner and his "barnstorming team" played against at least one Canonsburg team on the ballfield where the High School stadium is located today.


The T206 Honus Wagner baseball card is the most well known and most expensive baseball card in the world.

There are 57 known copies and there are many other cards that only have 1 or 2 known examples depicting Wagner. 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.

 The famous "Gretzky T206 Honus Wagner" baseball card sold for $2.8 million in 2007.