Rabbit Maranville was one of baseball’s most colorful characters – and a darn good ball player.
Author Frank Russo wrote of Maranville’s stunts. According to Russo Rabbit enjoyed throwing lit firecrackers, stepping out on ledges of his hotel rooms, and swallowing goldfish. He simply enjoyed a good prank and creating laughs.
According to the Hall of Fame, legendary manager Joe McCarthy said, “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.”
The 7-time World Series winning skipper was right.
One of the best fielders of his era, Maranville’s play was highly respected. In his first full season of 1913 he finished third in MVP voting despite hitting just .247.
The following season his batting average fell to .246 yet Maranville moved up a spot in the MVP race. That 1914 campaign he helped the Miracle Braves shock the world as champions of baseball.
Maranville was skilled enough to remain in the game well past his prime. Indeed his record of 23 seasons as a National Leaguer held until Pete Rose surpassed it in 1986.
A career middle infielder, Maranville compiled 2,605 hits and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1954.
The image above shows his signature from a 1949 government postcard.