Walter James Vincent Maranville
One of the more colorful players in baseball history, Maranville
was a fan favorite in Boston, playing shortstop for the Braves
for more than 14 seasons in two separate stints. He often clowned
and entertained fans with his impish antics. As a player, his
offensive stats were well below league norms for his era, but he
made up for it with his glove. He paced NL shortstops in
fielding, putouts, and assists several times.
Bats Right, Throws Right
Height 5' 5", Weight 155 lb.
Debut September 10, 1912
Final Game September 29, 1935
Born November 11, 1891 in Springfield, MA
Died January 5, 1954 in New York, NY
Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1954.
Managerial Record Glossary
Year League Team Age G W L WP Finish
1925 National Lg ChicagoC 33 53 23 30 .434 8
TOTAL 53 23 30 .434
Boston Braves (1912-1920, 1929-1933, 1935), Pittsburgh Pirates
(1921-1924), Chicago Cubs (1925), Brooklyn Robins (1926), St.
Louis Cardinals (1927-1928)
Chicago Cubs (1925)
1914 World Series, 1928 World Series
Walter “Rabbit” Maranville compensated for his lack of size with
an overabundance of spunk and determination. Over his 23-year
major league career, spent exclusively in the National League,
the wide-ranging Maranville accumulated a record 5,133 putouts
and developed a reputation for his eye-popping "basket catches."
In 1914, he finished runner-up for the MVP Award as a key member
of the "Miracle Braves."
"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
Did You Know... that Rabbit Maranville's record for most seasons
played in the National League lasted for over 50 years until Pete
Rose bested the mark in 1986?
Hall of Fame Teammate: Johnny Evers
Nicknamed for his speed and rabbit-like leaps, he was always a
superior fielder, famous for his unique basket catch of high
infield flies. Consistency was his hallmark and greatest virtue.
During his first tour with Boston, he led NL shortstops in
putouts each year from 1914 to 1919 (except for 1918, which he
spent in the Navy), assists twice, double plays three times, and
fielding average once.
Although a well-established Boston favorite, he was traded to
Pittsburgh in 1921 for outfielders Billy Southworth and Fred
Nicholson, shortstop Walter Barbare, and $15,000. With the
Pirates, he led shortstops in fielding average in 1923. When
young Glenn Wright took over at short in 1924, Maranville shifted
to second and again had the league's best fielding average. He
was dealt to the Cubs after the 1924 season, but alcohol nearly
did him in. He failed in a managerial opportunity with Chicago
and was relieved of duties with his club in eighth place after 53
Due to his instability, he moved around the league despite his
star status. The Cubs waived him to Brooklyn. The Dodgers, who
suffered many eccentrics gladly in their time, released him
unconditionally halfway through 1926. The Cardinals, always
bargain hunters, picked him up and optioned him to Rochester
(International League), where he got his drinking under control.
In 1928, with the Cardinals in trouble at shortstop, Branch
Rickey brought Maranville back to bolster the infield in a
pennant-winning season. Charley Gelbert arrived in 1929, and
Maranville was sold back to the Braves. As always, his play in
the field was remarkably consistent. From 1929 to 1933, despite
aging, he never played fewer than 142 games a season. He was the
league's top fielding shortstop in 1930, and second baseman in
During a spring training game against the Yankees in 1934,
Maranville, a spry 42, was on the front end of a double steal.
The throw went to second, and Maranville, trying to score from
third, had Frank Crosetti's return throw beaten, but he slid into
the rookie catcher blocking the plate and snapped the tibia and
fibula in his left leg. The breaks took most of the season to
mend, and when he tried to play in 1935, he was clearly not his
old self. But he batted .323 in 123 games for Elmira (New
York-Penn League) while managing in 1936, and played six games
while skippering Albany (Eastern League) three years later, at
Maranville stands first among all shortstops in putouts (5,139),
third in assists (7,354), and second in total chances (13,124).
He hit a creditable .251 in the dead-ball years from 1914-20 and
improved to .265 in the lively-ball era thereafter. In two World
Series (1914 and 1928), he had identical .308 averages. He was
the cleanup hitter for the 1914 Braves. He hit 177 triples
lifetime, which ties him with Stan Musial at 20th on the all-time
list. Of his 28 home runs, 22 were inside the park, and in 1922,
he set a still-standing ML record by going to the plate 672 times
(the league high) without homering. Maranville was elected to the
Hall of Fame in 1954, the year of his death. (ADS)
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