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Walter "Rabbit" Maranville
Birth: Dec. 11, 1891
Springfield
Hampden County
Massachusetts, USA
Death: Jan. 5, 1954
New York
New York County (Manhattan)
New York, USA

American baseball player, who was one of the most sensational, acrobatic shortstops, and effervescent personalties in baseball history. A 7 year old female fan nicknamed the mercurial, 5'5" shortstop, born in Springfield, Massachusetts, "Rabbit." In 1912, after Maranville had played just one year in the minor leagues, Boston Braves owner John Montgomery Ward, himself a Hall of Fame shortstop, acquired Maranville, after seeing him in only one game. The "Miracle Braves" were in last place on July 18, 1914, but swept heavily favored Philadelphia in the 1914 World Series, in which Maranville hit .308. He had what baseball statisticians deem one of the greatest fielding seasons ever by a shortstop, plus 28 steals and 78 RBI. His father was a policeman, but Rabbit's legendary alcohol-fueled behavior included strolls on building ledges, and diving into a swimming pool from his hotel room. On the field pranks included crawling to home plate through an umpire's legs, and strutting up to bat with a tennis racquet, against speedy pitcher Dazzy Vance.
He was traded to Pittsburgh in 1921, and in 1922 Maranville hit .295, with 198 hits, 15 triples, and 115 runs scored. He moved to the Chicago Cubs in 1925, becoming their player/manager. After a wild 53 game run including taking his team out to celebrate every win to the nth degree, he was fired. Maranville's antics increasingly irked owners, and he played for Brooklyn for 1926, and the St. Louis Cardinals in 1927, where his drinking landed him back in the minors. In 1928 he proclaimed "there is much less drinking (in baseball) than before - because I quit drinking." In the 1928 World Series he hit .308, tops for the Cardinals, then returned to Boston in 1929. In 1934 he shattered his leg sliding. It was so painful he had 240 pound teammate Shanty Hogan knock him out. A 1935 comeback failed. In 23 seasons, all in the National League, he played in 2670 games, with 2605 hits, 177 triples, 291 stolen bases, hitting .258. His 5139 putouts remains the all-time record for shortstops. He led the NL in putouts 6 times, and double plays 5 times. The fan-pleasing Rabbit hit 22 inside the park home runs. On stage he sang, told jokes, and demonstrated his unique basket catch, later immortalized by Willie Mays. Maranville died January 5, 1954 in New York City, and entered the Baseball Hall of Fame that year. 
 
Family links: 
 Parents:
  Ward E Maranville (1860 - 1930)
  Catherine E Maranville (1868 - 1900)
 
 Spouses:
  Helena Maranville*
  Elizabeth R. Shea Maranville (1894 - 1917)*
 
 Children:
  Elizabeth Betty Maranville McGinnis (1916 - 2003)*
 
 Siblings:
  Walter Maranville (1891 - 1954)
  Mary Elizabeth Maranville Healy (1894 - 1922)*
  Frances Catherine Maranville Sheehan (1898 - 1975)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
Saint Michaels Cemetery
Springfield
Hampden County
Massachusetts, USA
Plot: Holy Family Section B, Lot 206, Grave 5
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Record added: Jul 03, 2000
Find A Grave Memorial# 10235
Walter Rabbit Maranville
Added by: Nils M. Solsvik Jr.
 
Walter Rabbit Maranville
Added by: Ron Moody
 
Walter Rabbit Maranville
Added by: Adam Penale
 
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