Posts Tagged ‘Rabbit Maranville’

Atlanta Braves History: Rabbit Maranville starts at $125 a month (1911)

The third of five children, Walter James Vincent Maranville (Rabbit) was born on November 11, 1891, in Springfield, Massachusetts. His mother was Irish but his father and the Maranville name were French. Walter (then known as “Stumpy” or “Bunty“) attended the Charles Street and Chestnut Street grammar schools and played catcher during his one year at Technical High.

His father, a police officer, allowed him to leave school if he apprenticed for a trade, so at age 15 he quit to become a pipe fitter and tinsmith. To his father’s dismay, Walter devoted less attention to his apprenticeship than he did to baseball. He was playing shortstop for a semipro team in 1911 when Tommy Dowd, manager of the New Bedford Whalers of the New England League, signed him to a contract for $125 per month.

The 19-year-old shortstop batted .227 and committed 61 errors in 117 games. Not sure if that was worth the $125 a month or not.

Atlanta Braves History: The Braves snag Billy Southworth (1921)

In January of 1921, the Braves finally snagged Billy Southworth — one of three Pirates traded to Boston, with $15,000, for Rabbit Maranville. Billy wasn’t happy to be moving from a winning team to a loser. But he wound up signing a contract a few days later and was named captain of the team.

Southworth hit .308 for Boston that year. He was limited to 43 games in ’22 due to a dislocated knee, but in 1923 he accumulated a career-high 611 at-bats and hit for a .319 average. After the season, however, he was part of a trade with the Giants. It was a multiplayer deal, with Casey Stengel coming to Boston along with Dave Bancroft and Bill Cunningham in exchange for Southworth and hurler Joe Oeschger.

John McGraw had coveted Southworth since 1921, according to New York Times sportswriter Arthur Daley. But he waited until Billy had demonstrated that he had recovered from his knee injury.

Atlanta Braves History: July 4, 1919 (second game)

July 4, 2012 1 comment

The Boston Braves (now known as the Atlanta Braves) won the second game of the Double Header on July 4, 1919 at Ebbets Field after having lost the first game. At this point in the season we were in 7th place, 15 1/2 games behind.

My dad (Everett Wiley Wilson) was born this day. He probably would have expected them to split this. He saw or listened to a lot of games over the years. Johnny Rawlings, the second baseman, went 4 for 5 at bats in this game with a home run, a double, and a stolen base. Rabbit Maranville, our shortstop,  went 2 for 3 with a home run and sacrifice hit. Dick Rudolf was the winning pitcher with a complete game. Both runs were earned.

And so, my dad was born. He would come to love the Braves.

Atlanta Braves History: April 19, 1919 second game of double header

And here are some details of the opening day game.

2B: R Maranville (1); A Wilson (1).

HBP: W Holke (1); J Kelly (1).

TB: B Herzog 3; R Maranville 2; A Wilson 2; R Powell; R Smith; T Miller; W Holke.

RBI: J Scott (1); B Herzog (1).

Team LOB: 12.


E: R Smith (1); W Holke (2); J Riggert (1); R Maranville (3).


SB: J Riggert (1, -1st base off  POCS).


Atlanta Braves History: Opening day April 19, 1919

February 19, 2012 Leave a comment

The Boston Braves opened the season at home in 1919 on April 19th.

Manager George Stallings ended up losing 5 to 2 against the Brooklyn Dodgers. This was the first game of a double header that day (They would also loose the second game as well). Dick Rudolph was the loosing pitcher. Rabbit Maranville and Art Wilson both had RBIs accounting for the Braves 2 runs. The Braves left 8 men on base missing scoring opportunities. The batting wasn’t too bad for the day with an average of .270 for the team. Dick Rudolph helped out going 2-4.

No more Rabbit (1934)

It was a so so season for the Braves in 1934 but the worst part of it was losing Rabbit Maranville. They had a 78-873 record finishing 16 games behind in fourth place. It was Bill McKechnie’s 5th season but this went the most of them did during his tenure.

Rabbit Maranville, even at age 42, was playing some pretty good ball so there was hope as the season started. It was his 24th season and he had become a Boston and National legend.

“When Rabbit Maranville breaks a leg right at the start of the opening of the season, that constitutes America’s greatest crisis, and if anybody reading this had to ask who Rabbit is, then you should be made to show your citizenship papers.” — Will Rogers

So, on March 28th, Rabbit’s career came to an end when he broke his leg sliding home on a double steal during an exhibition game with the Yankees. The leg was set on the field while Rabbit smoked a cigarette. He didn’t play that year at all.

Now he was colorful (1914)

He was a Hall of Famer. He was one of the most accomplished defensive shortstops of all time. And, most important, a part of the miracle Braves of 1914.

Rabbit Maranville played with the Braves from 1912-20, 1929-33 and in 1935. He was mainly a shortstop but also played second and third. He was born in Springfield, Massachusetts on November 11, 1891 and died on January 5, 1954. Batted right and threw right.

He was very animated and energetic. Just like the energizer bunny. His Christian name was Walter but he went by “Rabbit”. He picked up that name in the minors and it stuck with him. A little girl saw him warming up. He was prancing and dancing around. She said he “jumped around just like a rabbit”.

It was true and it stuck. No more Walter.

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