Given Name: Dennis Joseph
Nickname(s): Big Dan
1B 1879-96, 1904 Troy Buffalo , Detroit
- Led League in ba 82-83, 89, 91-92
- Led League in hr 81, 86
- Led League in rbi 92
- Hall Of Fame in 1945
Dan Brouthers was one of baseball's 19th-century superstars, a five-time batting
champion who also led the NL in slugging percentage each of his first six full seasons.
Particularly large for his era at 6'2" and 205 lbs., mustachioed Big Dan sported
a lusty lefthanded swing that produced a career .343 batting average, ninth-best
of all time.
After parts of 1879-80 with Troy, which included two unsuccessful
starts as a pitcher, Brouthers became a regular in Buffalo in 1881 and led the NL
in home runs and slugging percentage. He won his first batting title in 1882 with
a .368 mark, and repeated the next season by batting .374. His average would not
dip below .300 until his token appearence with the Giants in 1904, eight years after
his initial retirement.
Brouthers joined Detroit in 1886 and hit .370 while leading
the league in home runs (11), doubles (40), and, for the sixth consecutive season,
slugging percentage. Although his average dropped to .338 and .307 the next two years,
he led the league in doubles and runs each time, then moved on to Boston, where he
regained the batting title with .373 in 1889. He jumped to the one-year Players League
in 1890, helping Boston to the league championship, then joined Boston's American
Association club in 1891, where he edged teammate Hugh Duffy for his fourth batting
title. Back in the NL with Brooklyn in 1892, he led the league in hitting once again
(.335) and also led in hits and RBI.
A capable barehanded fielder at first base,
Brouthers made his best contributions at the plate. He went 6-for-6 on July 19, 1883,
and on September 10, 1886, he blasted three home runs, a double, and a single for
15 total bases. When his ML career was done, he played in the Eastern League, winning
a final batting title with a .415 average. He remained in baseball when former teammate
and Giant manager John McGraw placed him in charge of the Polo Grounds press gate
for many years. In 1945, when a dearth of turn-of-the-century stars was addressed
by the Hall of Fame Veterans Committee, Big Dan Brouthers was among the eight inducted.
|FROM THE BASEBALL CHRONOLOGY|
|» November 11, 1886: The Executive Council of the Brotherhood of Professional Base Ball Players, formed the previous year, meets and chooses officers. John M. Ward is re-elected president, Dan Brouthers vice president, and Tim Keefe secretary-treasurer.
» November 17, 1887: The National League meets and officially recognizes the Brotherhood by meeting with a committee of three players, John Ward, Ned Hanlon, and Dan Brouthers.
» November 10, 1888: Detroit organizes a club to compete in the International Association next season to take the place of the disbanded Wolverines, 5th place finishers this past season. The Wolverines sell of their stars, with Big Sam Thompson going to the Phillies, and Dan Brouthers to Boston.
» February 19, 1892: Dan Brouthers, batting champion of the AA while with the Boston Reds in 1891, signs a contract to play with the Brooklyn Nationals. It will be his 5th team in five years.
» November 1, 1892: Averages for the first 154-game season show that Dan Brouthers of Brooklyn was the top hitter at .335, and Cy Young the top pitcher with 36 wins and 11 losses.
» September 3, 1903:
On the heels of a string of rain-outs, Hudson sweeps Poughkeepsie (Class-C Hudson River League) in the 20th century's only quadruple header, winning by scores of 2-1, 6-4, 3-1 and 4-2. [As pointed out by several historians including Bill Deane, there was one in 1889.] Hall of Famer Dan Brouthers is a member of the Poughkeepsie team in that 1903 through 1905.
» April 25, 1945: Baseball writers cannot seem to get any Hall of Fame candidates past the 75 percent requirement, but a committee selected to bring in some old-timers succeeds with a group of turn-of-the-century names: Jimmy Collins, Roger Bresnahan, Fred Clarke, Dan Brouthers, Ed Delahanty, Hugh Jennings, Mike "King" Kelly, Jim O'Rourke, Wilbert Robinson, and Hugh Duffy. Collins, overlooked in six HOF elections, was on the all-time teams of Connie Mack and John McGraw.