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All-Time Braves: Shortstop

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Despite not being an original choice, Mark Lemke rode his clutch post-season play to victory, rounding out the right side of the infield. Lemke earned 44% of the vote with Glen Hubbard, Marcus Giles, Felix Millan, and Davey Johnson finishing behind him. We'll move on to shortstop, a position that the Braves have enjoyed quite a bit of talent from over the last couple years especially. C Javy Lopez 1B Fred McGriff 2B Mark Lemke SS 3B OF OF OF 1. Walter "Rabbit" Maranville (1912-1920, 1929-1935)- Nicknamed for his speed, the Hall of Fame shortstop started and finished his career with the Braves. Maranville began his career in 1912 and took over as the Braves' full-time shortstop the next year. Maranville became known as not only a spectacular defender at shortstop, but quite a joker. His comical antics on the field led him to become a beloved player for Boston. For the majority of his first stint with the Braves, Maranville was playing in the dead-ball era and despite that, was quite good with the bat. For his career, Maranville was a .258 hitter and ranks 20th on the all-time triples list with 177. His speed was yet another weapon, finishing his career with 291 steals and 22 of his 28 career home runs as in-the-park homers. Drinking was a big problem for Maranville and almost ended his career. He got his drinking under control after moving around a couple teams and was sold back to Boston in 1929. He spent three more years as the starting shortstop and two as the starting second baseman before retiring in 1935. Even in those last couple years after he had passed 40, Maranville was considered an elite defender. 2. Johnny Logan (1951-1961)- Logan's biggest mark on the game was not achieved with a bat or a glove, but with his fists. He took exception to being hit by pitches and would take on anyone, even Don Drysdale who stood at 6'6". Beyond his fighting prowess, he was quite a shortstop. Despite a mediocre arm, Logan was known as a good defensive shortstop and was quite a hitter. He generally hit between .270 and .290 as the Braves starting shortstop while hitting double-digit home run six times. Logan enjoyed his best season in 1955. He hit .297 with a league-high 37 doubles while hitting 13 homers and a career-high 83 RBIs. Logan was elected to four All-Star games before being traded to the Pirates in 1961, where he finished his career as a backup infielder. 3. Jeff Blauser (1987-1997)- Blauser broke into the bigs in 1987 with the Braves but did not take over the starting job until 1989. The former first round pick became a fan favorite in his years with Atlanta. Shortstop has historically been a position that requires little offense but a very good glove; Blauser did not fit that mold at all. Blauser had a good bat for a shortstop, but a defensive wizard he was not. Quite frequently he was removed in the late innings for a defensive replacement, the most notable being Rafael Belliard. In his time with Atlanta, Blauser reached the double-digit mark in home runs seven times. In 1993, Blauser enjoyed his best season, hitting .305 with 15 home runs. 4. Rafael Furcal (2000-2005)- Furcal brought back a big stolen base threat that the Braves had really been missing for quite a few years. Furcal fairly quickly progressed through the minors, playing only three games between high-A and the majors. He got called up only a couple games into the 2000 season and quickly gave Braves fans a reason to be excited about his future. At 22, Furcal hit .295 with 40 stolen bases in 131 games and took home the NL Rookie of the Year award. Over the next five seasons, Furcal became one of the faces of the Braves franchise. He was known for his speed and incredibly strong arm. Despite a large number of errors, he was quite the defender towards the end of his Atlanta career. He moved on to the Dodgers in 2006 but a knee injury has severely cut down on his production with Los Angeles recently.
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