The slide continued for the Boston Braves in 1918. With a 53-71 record, they finished seventh, 28 1/2 games behind under the leadership of George Stallings. This was Stallings 6th year at the helm.
They started the year without Rabbit Maranville. Rabbit had enlisted in the Navy. Amazingly enough though, he did play during his 10-day leave. Incredibly he hit .316 in 11 games and didn’t strike out in 38 at bats. I guess the reprieve from the Navy suited him well.
Of course many teams were losing players to the war effort. One underutilized outfielder, Larry Chappell, didn’t return from the war, dying of influenza at an army camp during the winter. Larry was on 27 at the time. In May 1916, the Braves purchased him, and in 53 at-bats with them he hit .226. Overall, Chappell hit .218 with nine RBI and two stolen bases in 1916. Chappell played his final season in 1917, appearing in four games for the Braves, collecting no hits in two at-bats. He played his final game on April 25. Overall, Chappell hit .226 with no home runs, 26 RBI and nine stolen bases in 109 career games. He walked 25 times and struck out 42 times.
The war also shortened the season. In July, the leagues voted to end the season on September 2, Labor Day. The Braves were probably happy to leave early. They had lost 15 games in a row, only to win the last game of the season against the Giants.