Rabbit Maranville

Walter James Vincent Maranville
Inducted to the Hall of Fame in: 1954
Primary team: Boston Braves
Primary position: Shortstop

"When I first heard about him, about all the stunts he pulled, I said to myself for a fellow to do all those crazy things and still keep his job, he had to be a damned good ball player," Yankees Joe McCarthy said of shortstop Rabbit Maranville. "When I got into the league, I saw that I was right. He was full of fun, but he could play ball."

Maranville stands out in baseball history as one of the game’s unique careers and unusual personalities. Any discussion of Maranville must include mention of the stunts he pulled but shouldn’t solely focus on the player’s colorful side. Indeed, Maranville could play ball, especially defense.

Maranville made his big league debut in 1912, and instantly made the Boston Braves a factor in the National League. He finished third in the Chalmers’ Award MVP voting in his rookie season, 1913, despite hitting just .247 for the 69-82 Braves.

Listed at just 5-foot-5, 155 pounds, Maranville was better suited to the Dead Ball era when his career started, and was peaking as a hitter when World War I hit. He hit .260 in 1917 for Boston and then .267 with a career-best five home runs in 1919, sandwiched around a 1918 season cut to 11 games by his military service. Maranville’s numbers picked up in 1920 with the livelier ball, but he never was as valuable offensively as he had been at the end of his tenure with Boston.

Maranville was traded to the Pirates, playing in Pittsburgh from 1921-1924, then was traded to the Cubs for the 1925 season, becoming the team’s player/manager. He hit just .233 in Chicago, went 23-30 as skipper and was released at the end of the season; Brooklyn signed him but also released him in August 1926, when he was batting a modest .235. In 1927, after a stint in the minor leagues, Maranville landed one more chance with the Cardinals, and at age 36 became the team’s everyday shortstop.

"Walter Maranville is the greatest player to enter baseball since Ty Cobb arrived. I have seen 'em all, since 1891, in every league around the South, North, East and West, but Maranville is the peer of all of them. "
George Stallings

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Career stats

Year Inducted: 1954
Primary Team: Boston Braves
Position Played: Shortstop
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
Birth place: Springfield, Massachusetts
Birth year: 1891
Died: 1954, New York, New York
Played for:
Boston Braves (1912-1920)
Pittsburgh Pirates (1921-1924)
Chicago Cubs (1925)
Brooklyn Dodgers (1926)
St. Louis Cardinals (1927-1928)
Boston Braves (1929-1933)
Boston Braves (1935)
Chicago Cubs (1925)
At BatsAB
Home RunsHR
Stolen BasesSB
Batting AverageBA
On Base %OBP
Slugging %SLG