The baseball research community has been abuzz about a photo that surfaced last September of Braves Hall of Famer Rabbit Maranville. The infielder, who played nearly a century ago, is shown wearing a hat with a swastika on it.
The photo was originally posted by Paul Lukas at UNI WATCH BLOG with the attribution:
That’s Rabbit Maranville, circa 1915, and (photo contributor) Bruce (Menard) says the cap was worn to commemorate the sinking of the Lusitania. I know the swastika has a lengthy pre-Nazi history, so let’s not rehash all of that, but I didn’t know about this Lusitania connection. Anyone know more?
For centuries, the swastika was credited as a symbol of good luck. It was around long before the Nazi Party, which was founded in 1919, brought shame to the mark.
It is a pretty stunning thing, to see a baseball hall of famer taking ground balls for the Braves before a game while doffing a cap with perhaps the most infamous symbol in recorded history.
Even more amazing is the circumstances of the Braves’ fortunes immediately following Maranville’s swastika sighting.