But Wagner had a unique journey to the Major Leagues.
He was one of the best left-handed relievers of his era, but strangely, he was naturally right-handed.
Wagner stopped by MLB Network late on Monday to discuss his journey and how he learned to adapt to throwing left-handed.
"If I was right-handed, I would not be sitting here today." 😂
Billy Wagner shares the story of how he learned to throw left-handed despite being a natural righty. pic.twitter.com/BUQqyyCeiE
— MLB Now (@MLBNow) January 24, 2023
The story is quite interesting.
Wagner talked about how as a kid he enjoyed playing football.
He learned to throw left-handed after breaking his right elbow.
Wagner did not want to stop playing, so he learned how to throw left-handed.
From there, it stuck.
Wagner adapted after his injury and ultimately built up enough strength to use his left arm regularly.
And when he reached the Major Leagues, he quickly became one of the most dominant left-handed relievers of his generation and could even hit 100 MPH with his fastball.
But none of it would have been possible without learning to throw with his left hand, despite being naturally right-handed.
Wagner even went as far as to say that if he never injured his elbow and continued to throw right-handed, he would not be in the position he finds himself in now, on the doorstep of the Hall of Fame.