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Rabbit Warstler

Rabbit Warstler

Harold Burton “Rabbit” Warstler was born in North Canton, Ohio on September 13, 1903. He played all or part of 11 seasons as a shortstop and second baseman for the Boston Red Sox (1930–33), Philadelphia Athletics (1934–36), Boston Bees (1936–40) and Chicago Cubs (1940).

In his career, Warstler played in 1,205 games and had 4,088 at bats, 431 runs scored, 935 hits, 133 doubles, 36 triples, 11 home runs, 332 RBI, 42 stolen bases, 405 walks, .229 batting average, .300 on-base percentage, .287 slugging percentage, 1,173 total bases and 107 sacrifice hits.

He died in his hometown of North Canton, Ohio at the age of 60 on May 31, 1964.

On May 5, 2007, the city of North Canton, Ohio dedicated its new Little League facility and used the occasion to honor its last local ballplayer to reach the major leagues, Harold Burton Warstler. Known as Rabbit in baseball circles and Rap to his friends and neighbors in North Canton, Warstler was the quintessential good-field, no-hit middle infielder and played the decade of the 30’s in the majors.

The Sporting News described his fielding as “demonic” and “magical.” Connie Mack called him the best defensive player in the American League. Perhaps that’s why at the last moment Warstler was added to the major league 1934 Japan tour as a replacement for Joe Cronin.

 

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