HONUS WAGNER & ME
When Johannes Peter Wagner babysat the late Harriette Parker in Carnegie (PA), she feared him because of his large hands, according to her daughter, Arlene Carr. Those same hands, later described as “shovel-like,” accompanied his large size, bowed legs and long arms—a combination that contributed to his clumsiness.
Johannes, who played eighteen seasons with the Pirates—1900-1917—is featured in the play Honus Wagner & Me, (adapted from the book by Dan Gutman). My family and I attended the Mountain Playhouse (Jennerstown, PA) production of the play four days after we saw the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Cleveland Indians, 3-2.
NOTE: Although this article/post is not a sporting event, it is about a renowned baseball player, Honus Wagner. Though written earlier, (semi)qualifies for a response to the June 22, 2014 WordPress daily prompt, offside: (share a) funny/harrowing/interesting memories from a sporting event you attended, participated in, or watched?
I expected to be bathed in baseball. Instead, I was caught up in a twelve year old boy’s dilemma after he discovered a prized Honus Wagner tobacco card an attic he was cleaning for a neighbor in (year). Joey’s dilemma: return the card to the woman, or sell it and “save” his divorced parents, thereby saving his family. My eleven year old granddaughter, Jordan, explains: When the kid found the card he was going to sell it for money but ;his family would not let him and they had a small fight I thought that was the best part of the play.”
Meanwhile, the card allows Honus to transport Joey to the 1909 World Series, where lessons in life, baseball and self-confidence are learned.
When Joey ultimately returned the card to the woman, he learned of its romantic significance.
This play, with its life-affirming relationships, draws in both baseball fans and…us “idiots.” If you have an opportunity to see it, do. You will be pleasantly surprised, as I was.