Topic: Billy Wagner

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William Edward Wagner (born July 25, 1971, in Tannersville, Virginia) is a professional baseball pitcher for the Atlanta Braves baseball team. Previously, Wagner had pitched for the Houston Astros (1995 - 03), the Philadelphia Phillies (2004 - 05), the New York Mets (2006 - 09), and the Boston Red Sox (2009) teams During his career, Wagner has established himself as one of the best relief pitchers in pro baseball, and he is sometimes known for his ability to occasionally throw a fastball at a speed of 100 m.p.h., despite being relatively short for a Major League Baseball player. Wagner is one of the few Major League relief pitchers to accumulate a total of 400 or more saves in his professional career.

Wagner was a natural-born right-handed person, but after breaking his right arm twice in accidents, he taught himself to throw baseballs using his left arm by throwing thousands of balls against the wall of a barn, and then fielding the rebounds, and repeating.

Wagner went to school in the Tazewell school system, and he graduated from the Tazewell High School, where he was named the Baseball Player of the Year in 1990. He next attended Ferrum College, a quite small college in Virginia, and in his one year as a student-athlete there, he recorded a record of 16 wins and four losses. Wagner also set single-season N.C.A.A. records for strikeouts per nine innings, with 19.1 in 1992, and fewest hits allowed per nine innings, with just 1.88. Wagner holds the N.C.A.A. Division III mark for career strikeouts, with 227 in 182 1/3 innings pitched.

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