It was a so so season for the Braves in 1934 but the worst part of it was losing Rabbit Maranville. They had a 78-87 record finishing 16 games behind in fourth place. It was Bill McKechnie’s 5th season but this went the way 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. Maranville was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1954 in his 14th year of eligibility. His election came just months after his death at age 62.