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Rabbit Maranville
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Baseball Player
    (November 11, 1891-January 5, 1954)
    Born in Springfield, Massachusetts
    Birth name was Walter James Vincent Maranville
    Shortstop and 2nd baseman for the Boston Braves (1912-20,1929-33,1935), Pittsburgh Pirates (1921-24), Chicago Cubs (1925), Brooklyn Robins (1926) and St. Louis Cardinals (1927-28)
    .258 batting average, 2605 hits, 884 RBIs, 291 stolen bases
    Inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame (1954)
    He dropped out of school to become an apprentice tinsmith, then gave that up to play semi-pro baseball.
    During a vaudeville tour by the 'Miracle Braves' after their 1914 World Series victory, he demonstrated a slide, misjudged the distance, and landed in the orchestra pit, breaking his leg.
    He was jailed overnight after getting into a fight with a cab driver who he claimed had ripped him off on the fare (1925).
    During an eight-week stint as player-manager with the Cubs, he led the team to last place with a 23-30 record (1925).
    His often alcohol-fueled antics included eating the goldfish from a restaurant fountain, jumping into a pool from his hotel room, and faking his own suicide.
    His drinking eventually affected his play, resulting in his being sent to the minor leagues (1927).
    Braves manager George Stallings said, 'Maranville is the greatest player to enter baseball since Ty Cobb.'
    He was one of the greatest defensive players of his era.
    He missed most of the 1918 season serving as a gunner in the US Navy.
    His demotion to the minors served as a wake-up call and prompted him to give up alcohol: 'There is much less drinking in baseball now than there was before 1927, because I quit drinking on May 24, 1927.'
    His 23 seasons in the Majors stood as a record for over 50 years, until Pete Rose broke it in 1986.
    He worked for youth baseball programs in Detroit and New York, where his pupils included future Hall of Famer Whitey Ford.

Credit: C. Fishel

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