Rip Fanning


fanning_19401.jpg (21352 bytes)


Born: Nov. 5, 1898
Place:  Lexington, Tennessee
Died: April 1982
Place: Lexington, Tennessee

Batted: Right
Threw: Right


Union City Greyhounds
Lexington Giants
Bowling Green Barons
Paducah Indians



"Rip" Fanning won 338 games and ranks second in victories among Kitty League managers between 1935 and 1955.

At the age of 29, he began his professional baseball career as a catcher with the Anniston club in the Georgia-Alabama League in 1929. He played for Lindale the following season, then moved on to Independence in the Western Association.

Rip was out of pro ball for the next three years until the Kitty League reorganized in 1935 and he was hired as manager of the Union City Greyhounds. He resigned on July 17 and joined the Lexington Giants, which were owned by his father William Carroll (W.C.) Fanning. He played in two games before an injury sidelined him for the rest of the season. Rip started the 1936 season as manager at Lexington before stepping down on July 26.

Fanning returned to Lexington for the next two seasons and the team broke into the postseason Shaughnessy playoffs with a third-place finish in 1938. The team became the Bowling Green Barons in 1939 and Fanning relocated to south central Kentucky along with most of his players from the previous season. 

The Barons tied for second place and advanced to the final series of the postseason playoffs. Because ownership wouldn't assure him he would return the following season, Fanning resigned on September 14 after his club tied the postseason series at two games each. (The Baron won their next two games to win the series under his replacement, Dutch Welch.)

In 1940, Fanning led the Paducah Indians to a second-place finish and his third consecutive appearance in the Shaughnessy playoffs. Ironically, Paducah finished with the same record - 75-51 -as Bowling Green did the previous season!

Fanning was an avid sportsman. In addition to his baseball career, he was also a race car driver throughout the Southeast in the 1930's and 1940's. Later he became a gunsmith and owned a repair shop in Lexington, Tennessee. He was also known by hunters for the duck and goose calls he crafted.


McArthur Lewis
Ray Nemec




Kitty League Managerial Record

YEAR CLUB G W L Pct. Finish
1935 Union City 50 26 24 .520 ---
1936 Lexington 73 36 37 .493 ---
1937 Lexington 121 60 61 .496 5th
1938 Lexington 125 66 59 .528 3rd
1939 Bowling Green 126 75 51 .595 2nd
1940 Paducah 126 75 51 .595 2nd
Total 6 seasons 621 338 283 .544 ---


  • Resigned as Union City manager on July 17, 1935
  • Resigned as Lexington manager on July 26, 1936
  • Resigned as Bowling Green manager during the final series of
    the Shaughnessy playoffs on September 14, 1939




(c) 2006 Kevin D. McCann. All rights reserved.