It all goes back to Rabbit Maranville. He liked to have the more-than-occasional pop. So he was in the rye (and the bourbon and the brandy). I’ve written here before that I’ve seen old sports columns that said that he was the second biggest gate attraction after Ruth. The columns in question were written by in 1951 an old Hartford Times sportswriter named Arthur McGinley. McGinley grew up in New London, Conn. with future playwright Eugene O’Neill. In fact, O’Neill based his only comedy “Ah, Wilderness” on the McGinley family.
Now O’Neill had a daughter named Oona. Oona would go on to marry Charlie Chaplin. But before that she dated director Orson Welles and author J. D. Salinger. What dioes Salinger have to do with baseball? He was a character in W. P. Kinsella’s magic realism novel Shoeless Joe. This was later adapted onto film as Field Of Dreams and the character of Salinger was replaced. Another character in the book and movie was Moonlight Graham. Graham may be the most famous cup of coffee player ever, thanks to Kinsella.
Graham went on to become a small-town doctor, but not before making one appearance with the New York Giants in the summer of 1905. Art Devlin was on that team. Devlin was an alum of Georgetown University back when they were producing ballplayers who weren’t basketball players. He was a third-sacker; a fast one who led the NL in steals in ’05 with 59. Later on, the Giants sold him to Boston. They were just named the Braves that year because their owner was a bigwig in Tammany Hall. Tammany’s symbol was a Native American. While in Boston, he shared the left side of the infield with … Rabbit Maranville. It’s all connected, folks.