Hall of Fame: Rabbit Maranville (1954)

In one of his famous poses.

 Year Ag Tm  Lg  G   AB    R    H   2B 3B  HR  RBI  SB CS  BB  SO   BA   OBP   SLG *OPS+  TB   SH
+--------------+---+----+----+----+---+--+---+----+---+--+---+---+-----+-----+-----+----+----+---+
1912 20 BSN NL 26 86 8 18 2 0 0 8 1 9 14 .209 .292 .233 44 20 5
1913 21 BSN NL 143 571 68 141 13 8 2 48 25 68 62 .247 .330 .308 83 176 17
1914 22 BSN NL 156 586 74 144 23 6 4 78 28 45 56 .246 .306 .326 85 191 27
1915 23 BSN NL 149 509 51 124 23 6 2 43 18 12 45 65 .244 .308 .324 93 165 23
1916 24 BSN NL 155 604 79 142 16 13 4 38 32 15 50 69 .235 .296 .325 94 196 24
1917 25 BSN NL 142 561 69 146 19 13 3 43 27 40 47 .260 .312 .357 110 200 10
1918 26 BSN NL 11 38 3 12 0 1 0 3 0 4 0 .316 .381 .368 133 14 0
1919 27 BSN NL 131 480 44 128 18 10 5 43 12 36 23 .267 .319 .377 112 181 12
1920 28 BSN NL 134 493 48 131 19 15 1 43 14 11 28 24 .266 .305 .371 97 183 13
1921 29 PIT NL 153 612 90 180 25 12 1 70 25 12 47 38 .294 .347 .379 90 232 23
1922 30 PIT NL 155 672 115 198 26 15 0 63 24 13 61 43 .295 .355 .378 88 254 12
1923 31 PIT NL 141 581 78 161 19 9 1 41 14 11 42 34 .277 .327 .346 76 201 9
1924 32 PIT NL 152 594 62 158 33 20 2 71 18 14 35 53 .266 .307 .399 86 237 11
1925 33 CHC NL 75 266 37 62 10 3 0 23 6 5 29 20 .233 .308 .293 53 78 10
1926 34 BRO NL 78 234 32 55 8 5 0 24 7 26 24 .235 .312 .312 69 73 6
1927 35 STL NL 9 29 0 7 1 0 0 0 0 2 2 .241 .290 .276 50 8 0
1928 36 STL NL 112 366 40 88 14 10 1 34 3 36 27 .240 .310 .342 69 125 9
1929 37 BSN NL 146 560 87 159 26 10 0 55 13 47 33 .284 .344 .366 79 205 23
1930 38 BSN NL 142 558 85 157 26 8 2 43 9 48 23 .281 .344 .367 74 205 17
1931 39 BSN NL 145 562 69 146 22 5 0 33 9 56 34 .260 .329 .317 77 178 16
1932 40 BSN NL 149 571 67 134 20 4 0 37 4 46 28 .235 .295 .284 59 162 15
1933 41 BSN NL 143 478 46 104 15 4 0 38 2 36 34 .218 .274 .266 60 127 17
1935 43 BSN NL 23 67 3 10 2 0 0 5 0 3 3 .149 .186 .179 2 12 1
+--------------+---+----+----+----+---+--+---+----+---+--+---+---+-----+-----+-----+----+----+---+
23 Seasons 10078 2605 177 884 93 756 .258 .318 .340 82 300
2670 1255 380 28 291 839 3423

Walter James Vincent Maranville was born on November 11, 1891 in Springfield, Massachusetts. His nickname “Rabbit” was apt. First, he was small and would only reach 5’5″. Second, he was fast and superior jumping ability allowed him to be a first-rate defender, end his career with a record 5,139 put-outs for a shortstop, and run out 22 inside the park home runs.

Maranville was known for being a clown and practical joker, and at the beginning, he was much appreciated for it. He would bring an umpire a pair of glasses, mock slow pitchers, and frequently jump into the arms of his biggest teammates for the camera. On the field, he was one of the best defensive shortstops in baseball for the Boston Braves, and oddly enough, he would hit fourth for the 1914 Miracle Braves. In that 1914 season, Maranville would finish second in the MVP voting, the closest he would get to the award. Over the next five seasons, he would lead the league in most defensive categories, cementing his status as one of the game’s stars.

However, Maranville was also known for drinking, and it would cause the vertically-challenged shortstop to be shipped around the league. For a while, his antics were comedic relief, but when his drinking became too much of a problem, the Braves sent him to Pittsburgh in 1921, where he still played a great shortstop. Glenn Wright came up in 1924, and Maranville shifted to second, where he again was a defensive whiz. The following off-season, Maranville was traded to the Cubs, but his alcohol problems became worse. After 53 games, the Cubs released him. In 1926, the Cardinals grabbed him and sent him to Rochester of the International League, where Maranville finally controlled his alcoholism. However, Maranville would be sent back to the Braves in 1929.

Maranville continued to play well, but in 1934, he broke his leg while sliding into home during Spring Training and was never the same. His 23 seasons in the majors would be the most ever until Pete Rose played 24. Finally after 13 tries, Maranville was elected into the Hall of Fame in 1954 with 82.9% (209 of 252) of the vote.

I don’t know if he deserves to be in the Hall of Fame, but if he does, then doesn’t Omar Vizquel?

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