6 thoughts on “Braves All-Time Team: Old shortstops”

  1. Maranville. Some of Long’s offensive numbers are better, particularly stolen bases, but Maranville is in the Hall of Fame, and considering his relatively poor offensive numbers, he must have been something special defensively to have played so long and to have garnered as many MVP votes as he did, especially playing for some bad Braves teams.

  2. Roughly speaking, Long played in an era when a lot of runs were scored, mostly due to high batting averages and poor defense. In 1897, he hit .322/.358/.444, but that rendered an OPS+ of only 106 because the adjusted league averages were .306/.371/.407. (Boston scored 1025 runs that season, playing a 132-game schedule; the league averaged 5.88 runs per team per game.) That was a big offensive year, but not the biggest. League adjusted OBP for Long’s career was .356.

    Long had more power than most in his era, but poor walk totals and unexceptional averages; he won a home run title and finished in the top ten six times, but in the top ten in walks just once, early in his career.

    Maranville wasn’t the offensive force Long was, but as I wrote in the comments to the original poll as a young player he wasn’t a total offensive zero. From 1917-1919 (his prime, but he missed most of 1918 — due to the war, I assume) his OPS+ was better than 110, and in the years around that it was in the nineties. For most of his career, he was a poor offensive player.

    That career straddles the line between the dead ball and Babe Ruth eras, but unlike most of the players Maranville did not experience a jump in his offensive numbers when the 1920-30 rule changes boosted offense. For whatever reason, he didn’t adjust well to the lively ball. Maranville’s slugging percentages are actually above the league from 1917-19, but they stayed steady in the years going forward while leaguewide slugging exploded. Basically, through age 29 he was a useful offensive player not unlike Furcal — a little power, lots of triples, some walks, stolen bases — from then on his value was all defensive.

  3. I think, though I’m not positive, that Maranville used a split grip on the bat, which resulted in even less power than choking up with both hands. If he didn’t bring his hands together to take advantage of the livelier ball, this might explain why his power numbers never jumped, thus rendering ironic the term “rabbit ball”.

  4. Given that info maranville, thought I don’t see why he is in the hall o’ fame unless his defense was Ozzie Smithesque.

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