“I don’t make speeches. I let my bat speak for me in the summertime.” -Honus Wagner
He was one of the first 5 men inducted into the Hall of Fame, arguably the greatest shortstop in baseball history, and yet is most widely known for a baseball card he didn’t even want released. Honus Wagner was the first endorser of Louisville Slugger bats, swinging a model W107 that ranged from 34.5 to 37 inches and weighing between 38 and 50 ounces during his 21 year career.
Wagner apparently used a “Pittsburg Lucky Special” bat in the 1903 World Series, which was used as the model when Hillerich and Son (who we know as Louisville Slugger today) began their partnership with “The Flying Dutchmen” in 1905.
Wagner’s first bats did not bear his facsimile signature, but rather were adorned with a colorful label, which has been loosely replicated by Cooperstown Bat Company.
Later, store model bats bore not only his signature, but also the logo for the new Kork Grip. Wagner was the first player in baseball history to have his signature on a bat, a tradition embedded not only in the wood, but the fiber of the game.