Big Dan Brouthers

Baseball’s First Great Slugger

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About the Book

Described as “the Greatest Batsman in the Country” by sportswriters of his era, Dennis “Big Dan” Brouthers compiled a .342 batting average, tying with Babe Ruth for ninth place all-time, and slugged 205 triples, eighth all time, in 16 major league seasons. He won five batting and on-base percentage titles, and seven slugging titles, and was the first player to win batting and slugging crowns in successive years.
Although he ranked fourth among nineteenth-century home run hitters, many fair balls he hit into the stands or over the fence were counted only as doubles or triples due to local ground rules. Brouthers was extremely difficult to strike out—in 1889, for example, he did so just six times in 565 plate appearances. He was the first player to be walked intentionally on a regular basis.
This comprehensive biography of Dan Brouthers examines his life and career from his youth as an apprentice in a print and dye factory to his final years as an attendant at the Polo Grounds. It corrects numerous errors that have crept into earlier accounts of his life, and clarifies his position as one of the greatest hitters ever to play the game.

About the Author(s)

Roy Kerr, a retired professor of Spanish and a member of the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR), lives in Lakeland, Florida.

Bibliographic Details

Roy Kerr
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 216
Bibliographic Info: 30 photos, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2013
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7560-5
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0618-7
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Acknowledgments  ix

Preface  1

One. The Wappingers Falls Boy: 1858–1880  3

Two. The Champion Batsman of the Country: 1881–1885  27

Three. Big Dan: 1886–1888  48

Four. Old Jed: 1889–1891  76

Five. Big Brother with the Stick: 1892–1895  96

Six. The Sage of Wappingers Falls: 1896–1906  119

Seven. The Once Famous Ball Player: 1907–1932  152

Epilogue: The Grand Old Man of the Game  177

Appendix A: Dan Brouthers’ Nicknames  183

Appendix B: Dan Brouthers’ Longest Hits  185

Appendix C: Dan Brouthers’ Major League Statistics  188

Chapter Notes  191

Bibliography  199

Index  203


Book Reviews & Awards

“The latest installment in McFarland & Company’s line of definitive biographies of deserving players without them…. Kerr found many widespread, intransigent errors imbedded in the accepted life story of Brouthers.… [He] sets the record straight.”—Spitball.