John Adam Tavener (Rabbit)
- Bats Left, Throws Right
- Height 5' 5", Weight 138 lb.
- Debut September 24, 1921
- Final Game October 6, 1929
- Born December 27, 1897 in Celina, OH USA
- Died September 14, 1969 in Fort Worth, TX USA
Shortstop Jackie Tavener signed as an amateur free agent with the Detroit Tigers before the 1921 season. The 5' 5" infielder was assigned to the Columbia Comers of the class B Sally League for his first year in organized baseball and came away with a .290 batting average while appearing in 142 games. The Tigers would call Jackie up to the majors for a quick look at the end of the season and he made his debut on September 24, of this same season, appearing in two games with no luck in four at-bats, but he fielded seven chances without a miscue.
Jackie would spend the next three seasons (1922-1924) with the Fort Worth Panthers of the class A Texas League. His best year came in 1924 when he hit at a .285 clip in 149 games and fielded the shortstop position at a .950 percentage, making only 44 errors in 888 chances. After a strong showing in the 1925 Spring Training camp, the Tigers would make Jackie their everyday shortstop for the next four years (1925-1928). He responded with a four year batting average of .261 and fielded the short-field at a .952 percentage.
Tavener also would lead all American League shortstop's with games played at 156, in 1926, the year he hit at a .265 count and fielded for a .952 percentage, handling 809 chances with just 39 errors. Jackie also finished in a tie with Frank O'Rourke at the 13th spot in the voting for the League's Most Valuable Player award, won by the Yankees' Lou Gehrig. Jackie had two more solid years with the Briggs Stadium club in 1927 and 1928 but was traded along with Ken Holloway to the Cleveland Indians for George Uhle on December 11, 1928.
Tavener would spend his last season in the major leagues with the Indians and the 31-year-old would appear in just ninety games. He ended his six-season big league career with a .255 batting average and a .951 fielding percentage, all in the infield. He would drop back down to the minors and spend five more seasons in the game, two with the Milwaukee club of the American Association and three with the Fort Worth team of the Texas League. Tavener was active through the age of 36 and had a nine-season run in the minors, hitting for a .264 average with 29 home runs and fielding at a .939 clip.