Were Baseball Hall of Famers Rabbit Maranville and Johnny Evers Nazis?

Photos have recently turned up of the two greats wearing swastika caps on the diamond. Here's Maranville:

What's the story here? I won't even hint–go read this terrific bit of historical sleuthery by Baseball Researcher Tom Shieber, and marvel that we live in the days of researchy miracle and wonder. You don't have to like sports to enjoy it.

Link via Baseball Primer.

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  • Slut Bunwalla||

    the days of researchy miracle and wonder

    Paul Simon reference, or startling coincidence?

  • Old Mexican||

    The swastika has been around for thousands of years, the word coming from the Sanskrit "svastika" meaning "all is well." Up until its adoption by Nazi Germany, the swastika was known as a symbol of luck, and was often worn as a good-luck charm. Of course, the symbol's association with the Nazis has overshadowed this earlier meaning.

    There. No need to dig it up.

  • ||

    What's this mean for Tinker and Chance? Nazis?

  • Matt Welch||

    Chance was a TOTAL Nazi. Not sure about his National Socialism, though....

  • ||

    Clearly, then, Tinker started the whole business.

  • ||

    After scanning a negative, it's perfectly all right to desaturate it to eliminate the orange-red light created by the inversion of the scanner light.

  • ||

    Ty Cobb was a nihilist. Unfortunately nihilists don't have a symbol (or is their lack of a symbol a symbol itself).

  • Suki||

    Why do people call him a Nazi?

  • ||

    Ignorant folks might because he was a racist asshole.

  • Walter Sobchak||

    Nihilists! Fuck me. I mean, say what you like about the tenets of National Socialism, Dude, at least it's an ethos.

  • ||

    Somebody should create a script that just automatically posts the above response as soon as the letters "nihil" are typed...

  • Slap the Enlightened!||

    Any guesses who this lady is?

  • Matt Welch||

    Gore Vidal's cousin?

  • ||

    Al Gore? Wow.

  • ||

    Oh, Jackie O.

  • Slap the Enlightened!||

    Pro L. wins...

    ...a swastika!

  • ||

    Rex is a local libertarian, unless he's moved. Local to Tamparitaville, that it.

    I don't recall anyone like that girl (pictured at the link) in my Boy Scout troop.

  • Suki||


  • Our Ever Expanding Government||

    David Weigel?

  • Russ 2000||

    Marge Schott?

  • Russ 2000||

    Marge Schott?

  • ||

    Eva Braun?

  • ||

    Many years ago I was working in a town where they tore down a building, and discovered on the wall of the adjacent building an old White King Soap advert with swastikas on it. Lots of hullaballoos and angst over it. The city had to cover up the sign.

  • The Art-P.O.G.||

    "White King" soap with swastikas? Nuh uh.

  • ||

    Uh huh! It was a picture of a King of Spaces playing card, but instead of spades it was swastikas. Caused a huge uproar. The painting was still there last I heard, but they did paint over the swastikas.

    There is a reference to it here: http://www.cs.mcgill.ca/~rwest.....astika.htm

  • ||

    I'm a spaces cadet... :-o

  • ||

    There's got to be a Jim Bunning joke in here somewhere.

    Coffee-maker's broke.

  • robc||

    Bunning opposed tarp, no swastika wearer would do that.

  • ||

    Bunning only opposed TARP because he thought it had secrets about him.

  • ||

    You know, Hitler is simply viral marketing gold right now. I expect mainstream companies to begin using the Downfall footage in their ad campaigns. Infringement be damned--it's parody!

  • In Time Of War||

    The US 45th Infantry Division used a swastika as their shoulder patch up into the 30's. Were they nazis?

  • ||


  • Mike Laursen||

    Wow, this guy did way better research on the the hats than the "intelligence" establishment did on Iraq.

  • ||

    The difference between private and government effort.

  • Almanian||


  • ||

    Clearly not since this photo was taken before the Nazis ever existed as a group. Both men play in the Dead Ball era, i.e., the 00s and 10s... and maybe a bit into the early 20s.

    Rabbit Maranville shouldn't be in the Hall of Fame though. He was good, but not that great.

    Johnny Evers wasn't a Nazi... but he was in spirit, they called him Crab.

  • ||

    Maranville played from the teens into the thirties. He had a really long career. This looks like a pretty early photograph.

  • dfd||

    Yes, from the photo research detailed in the excellent blog post, turns out it's opening day 1914 at Ebbets Field. The start of the "Miracle Braves" season which saw them go from 16 games out in last place in July to winning the pennant by 10.5 games and sweeping the A's in the World Series.

  • Pink Cosmotarian||


  • ||

    So the swastika use to mean "good luck"

    I guess it makes sense that after the Nazis used it that it lost that meaning.

    Not the luckiest group of socialists....hell even the socialists hate them now.

  • Hitler||

    Now a picture of Hank Greenberg wearing a swastika - that would be Jnews

  • Abdul||

    I bet Jackie Robinson was glad that they held off integrating baseball until all the swastika caps were thrown out. Imagine how offended he would have been if he had to play with guys wearing hate symbols!

  • ||

    Evers wasn't a Nazi, but he and the Cubs won the 1908 pennant in an absolutely appalling display of bad sportsmanship. An that, not a goat, is why the Cubs will never win the World Series. The spirit of Fred Merkel will never allow it.

  • highnumber||

    That makes much more sense!

  • robc||

    How fucking hard is it to tough 2nd base?

  • ||

    Don't mock his disability!

  • ||

    They won the 1908 series, though, so it took a while for the curse to take effect.

  • ||

    They won the 1908 series, though, so it took a little while for the curse to take effect.

  • Paul||

    The swastika was also used as a symbol by Native American tribes. The NMSU year book used to be called "Swastika" if I recall. Too lazy to look it up, though.

  • Ziggy||

    That was actually a very interesting read...

  • ev||

    Alt text win of the year.

  • Matt Welch||

    I'll remind you of that when it's time to Vote....

  • Unclaimed Mysteries||

    Braffes vin! Braffes vin!

  • Ted S.||

    The link is a fail in that if you have images turned off, it's totally unreadable.

  • Anti Socialist||

    Another clue in cases like this is that the symbol is not turned 45 degrees from the horizontal, as German National Socialists did in order to use the symbol as crossed S-letters for their "socialism." See the work of the symbologist Dr. Rex Curry. The Nazis did not call it a swastika, they called it a Hakenkreuz (hooked cross). Also, the Nazis did not call themselves Nazis (they called themselves Socialists: the National Socialist German Workers Party). As if that were not disturbing enough, the players performed the Pledge of Allegiance using the stiff-armed salute at that time. Did they start the games with the National Anthem (as they do now)? If so, there might be photos of the players and the crowds performing the early pledge "nazi" salute, as the players and spectators often do today at sporting events (but with the modern hand-over-the-heart). The Pledge Of Allegiance was the origin of the salute adopted later by German National Socialists (again see Dr. Curry's work).

  • Kolohe||

    Who was a Nazi.

  • Kolohe||

    What was a Social Democrat.

  • Kolohe||

    I Don't Know, Bolshevik

  • Robert||

    My dead friend Charles Raspil thought the wide spread of the swastika/fylfot was evidence that it was a representation of something that had been seen in the sky prehistorically.


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